Optimisme quant à l'utilisation des lois, constitutions, et droits de réaliser un changement social n'a jamais été plus élevés chez les praticiens. Mais la littérature académique est sceptique que tribunaux peut diriger les ressources vers les pauvres. Cet article développe un compte nuancé dans lequel pas de tous les tribunaux sont les mêmes. Countries and policy areas characterized by judicial decisions with broader applicability tend to avoid the potential anti-poor bias of courts, whereas areas dominated by individual litigation and individualized effects are less likely to have pro-poor outcomes.
Using data on social and economic rights cases in five countries, the authors estimate the potential distributive impact of litigation by examining whether the poor are over or under-represented among the beneficiaries of litigation, relative to their share of the population. They find that the impact of courts varies considerably across the cases, but is positive and pro-poor in two of the five countries (India and South Africa), distribution-neutral in two others (Indonesia and Brazil), and sharply anti-poor in Nigeria. Overall, the results of litigation are much more positive for the poor than conventional wisdom would suggest.
This paper is a product of the Human Development and Public Services Team, Development Research Group. It is part of a larger effort by the World Bank to provide open access to its research and make a contribution to development policy discussions around the world. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://econ.worldbank.org.
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