Jean-Philippe Platteau is Professor of economics and member of CRED (Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement) at the University of Namur, Belgium. His main field is development economics and most of his work has been concerned with the understanding of the role of institutions in economic development, and the processes of institutional change. The influence of non economic factors and various frontier issues at the interface between economics and sociology are a central focus of his research projects. He has written numerous articles in academic journals and published several books, including Halting Degradation of Natural Resources – Is There a Role for Rural Communities? (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1995) with J.M. Baland, Institutions, Social Norms, and Economic Development (Harwood Publishers and Routledge, London, 2000), Culture and Development: New Insights Into an Old Debate (Routledge, London, 2010).
The main issues addressed in his research work are:
- determinants of collective action, and management of common property resources, in particular ;
- aid effectiveness: elite capture in decentralised development programmes;
- determinants of technology adoption in poor communities;
- transformation of land tenure systems in Sub-Saharan Africa ;
- transformation of inheritance rules and family structures;
- emergence and functioning of land markets ;
- marriage systems in relation to land availability ;
- role of social and moral norms in economic development ;
- informal risk-sharing and income-pooling arrangements;
- emergence of patronage-based power relations;
- the role of statutory law to change customary practices;
- politics of religion, Islam in particular.