What’s Mine is Yours: Evidence on Property Rights and Women’s Empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire

Last registered on August 28, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

What’s Mine is Yours: Evidence on Property Rights and Women’s Empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire
Initial registration date
August 27, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 28, 2020, 12:23 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Bocconi University
PI Affiliation
University College London
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Customary norms and institutions hold sway in legal pluralist contexts across sub-Saharan Africa. Women in these settings tend to have weaker rights than men over the acquisition, division, and inheritance of assets that are central to productivity and welfare. This project studies the relative impact of two interventions aimed at strengthening women’s property rights in rural Côte d’Ivoire, in the context of the World Bank Land Policy Improvement and Implementation Project (PAMOFOR).

The first intervention consists of leveraging upcoming land certification activities to certify one plot of each man’s land in his wife’s name, resulting in the reallocation of individual land ownership within the household. The second intervention is marriage formalization, with (customarily married) couples entering into civil marriage under a community of property regime. Couples will have the opportunity to formalize their marriage with support to reduce the administrative and transaction costs related to civil marriage that block many couples from formalizing their marriage.

The interventions, which will be executed jointly by the World Bank and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, will coincide with the adoption of a new set of legal reforms in Côte d’Ivoire to strengthen women’s rights under marriage and inheritance.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Donald, Aletheia et al. 2020. "What’s Mine is Yours: Evidence on Property Rights and Women’s Empowerment in Côte d’Ivoire." AEA RCT Registry. August 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6300
Experimental Details


This study evaluates two interventions with the potential to strengthen women’s property rights.

Land reallocation: This intervention will consist of an information package in the form of a short video. The video will expose selected beneficiaries to tailored messages on the potential benefits of a wife’s land ownership. This intervention will take place during the land rights “clarification” phase occurring in each village as part of PAMOFOR. A field officer will schedule an in-person household visit with each randomly selected couple and ask the couple for their consent to show them a brief video on the tablet. The officer will communicate that the video is intended for the couple only, but will record anyone else’s presence during the viewing. After the viewing, the field officer will explain that s/he has come to propose that the husband give a part of his land, for a minimum of 0.5 ha, to his wife during the upcoming free land certification. If they accept, after their plots have been measured during the delimitation phase of PAMOFOR (which should happen within 4 months of the clarification phase), a certificate will be issued for that plot in the wife’s name alongside the certificates for the other (husband’s) plots.

Marriage upgrading: The “marriage upgrading” intervention will assist couples who are customarily married to enter into a civil marriage within the default ‘community of property’ regime. A field officer will administer a short educational video to both spouses in randomly selected households, explaining the legal implications and potential benefits of civil marriage under this regime. The field officer will then offer the couple the option to receive a fully-subsidized marriage license under the community of property regime. This offer will include: full coverage of the administrative costs for statutory marriage; assistance with the retrieval of necessary documentation (including a specially-issued birth certificate from their natal community); assistance with the completion and submission of necessary administrative paperwork; and a small wedding celebration with refreshments. Couples who accept will be given an appointed time to appear before the sous-prefét for the marriage, occurring approximately two months after the household visits.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Shorter-term: perceived tenure security, decision-making over land use, crop choice and investment in land, time-use, labor supply, gender attitudes, relationship quality.
Longer-term: agricultural productivity and revenue, off-farm revenue, expenditures, credit access, bargaining power, political participation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Longer-term: agricultural productivity and revenue, off-farm revenue, expenditures, time-use, credit access, bargaining power.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will draw a random sample of households based on the sample eligibility criteria (being a customarily married, landowning Ivorian-born couple). These households will be located in three of the PAMOFOR regions (Agneby-Tiassa, La Mé and N’Zi Comoé).

Within these villages, treatment will be randomized at the household-level. Assignment to the treatment and control groups will be performed using stratified within-village randomization, following a household census in each study village to screen for eligible households. The selection of households within each village will be further stratified by marital status (monogamous or polygamous) and duration of marriage (above or below the median). The research team will add matrilineal status as a stratification variable provided the “cell size”, to be validated at baseline, is sufficiently large.

We will run three main comparisons:
1. Land Reallocation vs. Control: This will yield the causal (intent-to-treat) impact of reallocating one plot of land to a woman within the household.
2. Marriage Upgrading vs. Control. This will give us the causal estimate of a woman entering into statutory marriage.
3. Marriage Upgrading vs. Land Reallocation: This will allow us to estimate which mechanism is more effective in increasing women’s bargaining power and wellbeing.
To test for the presence of within-village behavioral spillovers (e.g., wives in the control group increasing their decision-making over household resources by modelling their treatment neighbors’ behavior), we will also identify a set of “pure” control households residing in villages outside of the gender intervention zone.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be at the household-level (effects of PAMOFOR project overall—evaluated separately—will be at the sous-prefecture level).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,190 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
680 households in land reallocation intervention;
680 in marriage upgrading intervention;
830 control households, 150 of which in villages where no gender intervention is taking place.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comité National D’Ethique des Sciences de la Vie et de la Sante (CNESVS)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University College London
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Bocconi University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number