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Mohammed on property rights

The prophet Mohammed was an early proponent of property rights. When a famine in Medina brought sharp price increases, people implored him to less the hardship by fixing prices. He refused because, having once been a merchant himself, he believed the buyers’ and sellers’ free choices should not be overridden. “Allah is the only one who sets the prices and gives prosperity and poverty,” he said. “I would not want to be complained about before Allah by someone whose property or livelihood has been violated.”

What’s the unhappiest country?

Friends of the Earth have released The Happy Planet Index, what they call an:

Innovative new measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.

A big opportunity for small hoteliers

Laurence Carter's picture

October 2004, a steamy room in Ho Chi Minh City... I was being given a demonstration of a fledgling concept called World Hotel Link (WHL). The idea was that independent travellers in rich countries can connect to people owning bed and breakfasts and small hotels in emerging markets and make bookings directly. The kinds of places you'd never find on Expedia or Travelocity. Many of the accommodation providers had no access to the Internet.

St Helena musings: learning to listen

Laurence Carter's picture

Unless you all howl with rage or contempt, I'm going to add a postscript story to my blog entries. These will be called St Helena musings. Why St Helena? Because it is arguably the most aid-dependent part of the world, because I have a lot of stories about how its private sector has developed, and - because it is a great place and I used to live there. All of the stories are true.

New blogger: Laurence Carter

I am very pleased that Laurence Carter has joined us at the PSD Blog. Laurence leads the IFC's Small and Medium Enterprise Department and is full of good stories about small business activity around the world. I'm especially looking forward to reading the "lessons from St. Helena" at the end of his posts.

Role of non-state actors in regulation

There is growing recognition that regulation is not the exclusive domain of the state. The regulatory capacities of non-government actors are increasingly recognized and on occasions formally co-opted by the state. This paper examines the ways in which a variety of economic and civil society actors contribute to the information gathering, standard setting and behavior modification aspects of regulatory control. Particular attention is paid to the international aspects of this contribution and the limitations and advantages of different forms of non-state regulation.

UNEP's "Show Me The Money" report

The United Nations Environment Program's Finance Initiative launched last Friday the new report: “Show Me The Money: Linking Environmental, Social and Governance Issues to Company Value.” Their key conclusion:

The G8 and markets for vaccines

From the editorial, Harnessing science for the poorest, in today's Washington Post:

Last year's [G8] summit aired an elegant idea to have donors commit in advance to buying certain new vaccines if private firms bring them to market. Donors would express a desire for a medical innovation -- for example, a vaccine for malaria -- and promise to buy a set number of doses at a set price, thus creating a financial carrot for pharmaceutical research establishments.