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February 2006

(Not) predicting the future

Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world… are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys.

That’s what Louis Menand took away from Philip Tetlock’s new book (free chapter). He goes on:

Alternative forms of price regulation

ConcessionsThe pricing mechanism that a utility uses can be the most powerful incentive for performance in a sector. It is essential to choose the appropriate pricing mechanisms for the specific conditions of a liberalized utility sector.

From gangs to new business

A reality TV show in Guatemala is trying to turn former gang members into small business owners. ‘Desafío 10, Paz para los ex or ‘Challenge 10: Peace for the Ex’ is USAID funded and will air in March. (Via From Neurons to the New Economy)

The failure of shock privatization?

Rapid privatization is harmful if you don’t first address institutions. So say Sergio Godoy and Joseph Stiglitz in ‘Growth, Initial Conditions, Law and Speed of Privatization in Transition Countries’:

Private education forum: day two

Yesterday the forum got underway with opening remarks by Mr. Wolfowitz, who drew on his experience as ambassador in Indonesia to focus on poverty and the limited access to education which perpetuates it. He called on the World Bank and the IFC to work together to increase access for the poor, but also to offer quality education and value for students whose families struggle financially to allow them to attend school.

This was followed by an overview of the global trends in this sector and by a presentation on the state of the US private higher education market.