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Does legal representation increase investment? Evidence from a field experiment in Kenya

Adam Aberra and Matthieu Chemin ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2021, vol. 150, issue C

Abstract: The legal system enforces contracts and secures property rights, thereby increasing the incentives to exert effort, invest, access credit, and grow. Yet, the high costs of access to the legal system may prevent these gains from taking place. This paper presents the results of a randomized intervention offering the services of a free lawyer for 2 years in a rural setting with prohibitive lawyer fees and numerous land disputes. Not all cases were fully resolved after 2 years, but legal representation increased the security of property rights, which translated into greater investment and access to credit.

Keywords: Legal system; Investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102612

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