Google just released its own browser, Chrome, to compete with Internet Explorer. Daniel Altman on the International Herald Tribune blog argues that it may just turn out to be the developing world's browser. Now, Google has just announced it is supporting the development of a system of satellites to provide internet access to regions without fast fiber networks.
East Asia and Pacific
Famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has argued forcefully for the protection of property rights as a key ingredient in economic development. His book The Mystery of Capital became a big hit with its argument that the poor had plenty of capital but that the lack of property rights meant it was unusable.
Although Marx thought that workers would somehow spontaneously recognize their shared interests, Lenin realized it would take a little prodding by an avant-garde. It now looks like capitalists are running into the same problem.
Just how far has the international development community come in its attitudes toward corruption? Here are classic lines from Samuel Huntington's 1968 opus Political Order in Changing Societies:
Although it's not a new paper, I thought it would be good right about now to dig up a little bit of wisdom from Dani Rodrik and Romain Wacziarg called Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes? The short answer is no. But I'll let them speak for themselves:
Althought the point has been made before, Foreign Policy has some searing words for the aid industry in a piece called The New Colonialists (subscription required). Money quote:
August 25, 2008. I didn’t see it, but I heard it. Everybody heard it. On the last day of the Olympics, Mongolia won its second gold medal.
The debate continues over at Creative Capitalism, the blog/book-to-be spurred by Bill Gates's speech at Davos. Meanwhile, Gates gives a hint at just how to create Creative Capitalism - get universities involved. At a forum in Hong Kong, Gates argued that universities need to team up with industry to drive innovation.
If betting on stocks is looking too risky to you these days, perhaps it's time to look for other ways to gamble your money. The Wall Street Journal reports that casino operators in Macau have taken a hit after stories circulated that mainlaind Chinese may face new restrictions on visiting. On the other side of the world, Las Vegas has also been suffering, according to the Economist.