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The Impact of Improving Access to Justice on Conflict Resolution: Evidence from Peru

Yuri Soares (), Maria Michaela Sviatschi (), Raul Andrade and Jimena Montenegro
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Maria Michaela Sviatschi: Interamerican Development Bank, Washington, DC
Raul Andrade: GRADE, Lima, Peru

No 810, OVE Working Papers from Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE)

Abstract: During the 1990s Peru greatly expanded access to formal judicial services in underserved districts through the construction and staffing of justice modules—physical structures which housed courts, prosecutors and public defenders. The intervention was designed to improve judicial coverage for populations located far from important urban centers where most of the courts are located. Using a specialized survey and matching techniques, we find that improving access to formal justice significantly shifts the resolution of conflicts away from informal mechanisms and toward the newly provided formal mechanisms; increases the use of complementary services, such as the use of lawyers; improves the perception of residents regarding social mores and the law; and ultimately marginally reduces the incidence of self-reported conflicts. We find evidence that the treatment also improves outcomes for residents in the area of child support conflicts, although in other types of conflicts we find no impact on outcomes.

Keywords: Public Policy Evaluation; Justice; Court Efficiency; Difference in Differences; Propensity Score Matching; Peru (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 C1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 57 pages
Date: 2010-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-law
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