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June 2006

Tata’s $2000 car

Tata Motors on Friday said it would launch the much-touted Rs one lakh car in early 2008, as the company had completed its styling and designing and tested the prototypes within the plant. Tata Group Chief Ratan Tata told shareholders that the launch of the car would create a new paradigm in low-cost personal transport, carve out a new market segment and reach a broader base of the pyramid.

Call for Papers: Poverty and Capital Conference

Ignacio Hernandez's picture


The ESRC Global Poverty Research Group (GPRG) is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between social scientists at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester and economists at the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. Manchester University has now consolidated its position as a leading institution for the interdisciplinary study of poverty through the establishment of the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI).


Pesos at the bottom of the pyramid

Tomorrow’s Financial Times discusses the increasing attention “bottom of the pyramid” approaches are receiving from Mexico’s private sector – such as microfinance, innovative low-income financing schemes and leveraging remittances. Bottom of the pyramid (BOP) approaches are gathering lots of praise and following, though IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno makes the key point:

“The biggest challenge is scale. Without that it will only be a drop in the bucket.”

Illuminating the way to energy conservation

A global switch to efficient lighting systems would trim the world's electricity bill by nearly one-tenth… [and] better building regulations would boost uptake of efficient lighting… The IEA [also] concludes, there is no need to wait for LEDs. Policy measures and individual action to bring the switch would slash 38% from the global electricity bill for lighting by 2030.

Hubbard on private sector development

Glenn Hubbard in the Financial Times:

Understanding the role of business and business institutions in prosperity is surely a good complement to the Buffett-Gates emphasis on social transformation of the poorest nations through medical advances.

Countries today prosper or fail to the extent that they embrace basic business principles.

Day-trading to escape poverty

Mr. Mishra is a distinctively Indian type of investor. His office is this cramped Internet cafe, strewn with discarded paper teacups. At home, he doesn't have his own computer, Internet connection or even reliable electricity. His portfolio is tiny. His profit target is $10 a day…

'Crime' wave in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's staggering inflation has turned bakers into criminals (aka economic actors):

“A TOTAL OF 282 bakeries have been arrested for selling bread above the controlled price,” state radio reported on Friday... So I went to another bakery where the Greek owner conceals loaves in brown paper bags under the counter, and glances shiftily around the shop before he hands it over to you, as if it’s a parcel of mbanje (marijuana).

NGOs agree to a code of conduct

Michael Jarvis's picture

The NGO community has long been pushing the corporate sector to adopt codes of conduct to uphold best practice on everything from ethics to environmental impact. Nor are they afraid of publicizing corporate failures to adhere to said codes. However, the legitimacy of such demands from civil society has been undermined somewhat by the lack of accountability and clear governance of many NGO themselves. As Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International notes: