Economists Ivar Kolstad, Vincent Somville and Jean-Philippe Platteau participated in the Bergen Seminar in Development Economics. The seminar covered a wide range of issues.

On the 14th of May, economists from Chr. Michelsen Institute and NHH organized the Bergen Seminar in Development Economics. The invited speaker Jean-Philippe Platteau (FUNDP-Namur) presented his recent work on the role of law in the context of social norms and customary authorities. He argues that moderate reforms can have a positive magnet effect on traditional oppressive social norms. Radical reforms may, on the other hand, be ineffective in improving the lives of the poor. The informal social norms are strong and may represent a barrier that makes the implementation of reforms impossible.

Merima Ali (CMI) presented her work on clustering and small and medium sized entrepeneurs in Ethiopia. Vincent Somville (CMI) presented his study on the economics of voodo in Benin, and Ingvild Almås (NHH) put international income inequality measurement on the agenda.