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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.

Reforming an African utility company

Reforming an African electricity company requires tough love, persistence -- and a little luck. Just ask Jean-David Bile, a civil engineer in the central African country of Cameroon. Bile runs AES Corp.'s electricity operation in Cameroon, a national grid that is chiefly powered by two large dams and was formerly fully owned by the infamously corrupt government of Cameroon.

The nationality of multinationals

Historical evidence shows that a great deal of international business in the nineteenth century was not easily fitted into national categories. The place of registration, the nationality of shareholders, and the nationality of management often pointed in different directions. During the twentieth century such cosmopolitan capitalism was replaced by sharper national identities. The interwar disintegration of the international economy also led to the national subsidiaries of multinationals taking on strong local identities.

The economics of taxicabs

Why does the total deregulation of taxicab services increase fares? This short note on taxi regulation in developing countries examines the economic theory of taxi markets and exactly how market failures should drive regulations.

Tracking aid pledges to Africa

The Africa Progress Panel, funded by Bill Gates and introduced today by Tony Blair, will report on commitments made at last year’s G8 summit in Gleneagles. In July 2005, the G8 nations pledged to cancel debts of 35 countries and increase aid to $50 billion annually by 2010, half of which goes to Africa. Kofi Annan will chair the panel, to include Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof, Nigerian President Obasanjo, and TI founder Peter Eigen. In addition to aid flows, the panel will consider trade and debt issues.