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Feel-good T-shirts for college students

Enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship has trickled from business schools down to the undergraduate level. BusinessWeek tells the story of T-shirt company Edun and Miami University of Ohio.

The idea: create sustainable employment in sub-Saharan Africa, get college students interested in social entrepreneurship, and keep making lots of fraternity and sorority T-shirts. Oh, and there's a Bono connection, of course.

Brazilian education gets failing grade

Brazil's scores on international tests of education have been dismal for years. Businesses have no choice but to fill in the gap with on-site remedial education, according to the Christian Science Monitor. At one furniture maker located outside Sao Paulo,

Private schooling succeeds in Pakistan

My colleague Jishnu Das sends word of two new World Bank policy papers he's coauthored on public and private schools in Pakistan. I'm pleased to see that their results mirror similar work from India (by researchers James Tooley and Pauline Dixon). The authors find that, contrary to perceptions, the average private school is cheap and heavily used even among the poor.

Are states indispensable to markets?

In our informality debate, Keith Hart and others have been vigorously taking me to task for arguing that states are 'indispensable for making markets work on a large scale.' Keith rightly points out that a lot of international market standards are privately enforced and work reasonably well. Chanayka says that regulatory evasion may be efficient when states are predatory rather than enabling.

Oxfam: still against user fees

According to William Kramer at NextBillion, Oxfam continues to bash private sector approaches to development:

As I read this report, the private sector is seen as the enemy at worst and a wild beast to be caged at best, the profit motive as antithetical to welfare, and more aid as the solution.