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East Asia and Pacific

The subprime mess - how did we get here?

A recent IMF paper tries to understand what caused the recent deterioration of lending standards in the U.S. and shows that many parties have to take some blame. Lending standards in the subprime market deteriorated in markets with more competition, faster rising house prices and better opportunities to securitize loans once they're originated.

Development 2.0: on which camp are you?

Literature on Web 2.0 technologies applied to developmental problems is rapidly growing, and with it, two camps are beginning to emerge. On the one hand, there are those who see Web 2.0 tools as an enhancement of traditional collaboration and outreach capabilities. On the other hand – and to my mind more intriguing – there are those who believe that Web 2.0 is heralding a new business paradigm.

Socialist legacy: aversion to equality?

A new paper titled, Attitudes to equality: the "socialist legacy" revisited, analyzes whether residents of post-socialist countries have "a preference for greater income equality, other things being equal, owing to the legacy of socialism." Surprisingly or not, the authors find little evidence that supports this claim.

Privatization in 2006 - the year of Chinese IPOs

Our privatization database – listing transactions of at least $1 million from 2000 to 2006 - has been updated again.  In 2006, 48 developing countries carried out 249 privatizations for a total value of $105 billion – a figure comparable to the record year 1997.