Syndicate content

The Kafka Index

France is campaigning to cut government red tape by using the name of writer Franz Kafka, who gave rise to the term Kafkaesque because of his portrayal of absurd, surreal and often frightening bureaucracies. The government has introduced what officials call a "Kafka" scale of one to 100 on how many forms, letters, phone calls and other steps are needed for companies and individuals to win state permits or aid for a project.

Commitment to Development Award

Click over and vote. This people's choice award is sponsored by the Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy. Unfortunately, the candidates are the typical names you would expect.

Update: here is the tally so far. Who will win the head-to-head between Easterly and Sachs?

When debt is not terrible

Michel Camdessus, former director of the IMF, and Jean-Michel Severino, director general of France's international development agency, believe that labeling all debt as bad is going to far. A previous note of ours on the grants vs. loans debate.

Measuring corruption

Corruption - the theft of public resources for private gain – imposes large costs on businesses and society. The first type of costs is redistributive. Redistribution costs are incurred whenever business or individuals with more financial or political power abuse their privileged position to gain contracts or services (including regulatory services) at the expense of their competitors. The second type is a welfare cost to the overall economy as a result of corruption, making everyone worse off.