The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Legalising Capitalism

The Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto, in The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital, makes an interesting case that many people in the underdeveloped world don't have the legal right to what is undoubtedly their property, and therefore don't have access to a whole lot of possibilities of using their property to develop their business. He is actually doing something about it by helping in the development of legal codes that recognise the property of the hitherto extra-legal population.

There's a slightly breathless article about its application to Egypt here.

It'll be fascinating to see how this pans out. I'd be interested to hear any informed opinions on it, too. Is De Soto on to something big, or is this all just snake oil?


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