How Formal Property Rights Shape Social Networks and Female Empowerment

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Daniele Nosenzo


Aarhus University


DKK 150,122




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Social networks and norms play a key role in shaping societal outcomes, such as the ability to sustain cooperation among strangers or to promote women's empowerment. But how can we change networks and norms to harness their positive effects? We study the role of formal institutions, by investigating the effects of a large-scale land reform that introduced formal property rights in a random sample of rural villages in Benin. We will conduct experiments to measure how the creation of property right (especially for women) has changed the networks and norms of the villages affected by the reform. Findings will inform how formal property institutions can shape the social fabric of society by expanding network interactions, scaling up market participation, and reducing gender inequality.

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