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Business environment, clustering and industry location

A new paper by Somik V. Lall and Taye Mengistae uses a survey of Indian manufacturing firms to discuss how the local business environment can impact the location of industrial clusters within countries:

International survey on corporate reporting

Corporate responsibility reporting in industrialized countries has entered the mainstream, according to a new KPMG survey. With coverage of over 1600 companies, including the top 250 companies of the Fortune 500, the survey provides a global picture of reporting trends over the last ten years. (via IBLF)

Privatization in competitive industries

An updated reading list on the impact of privatization in competitive industries is now available online. Specifically, the papers examine privatization’s impact on firm performance and its effects on a country’s macroeconomic and fiscal position.

How the world sees the world

The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index claims to be the world’s first analytical ranking of the world's “nation brands.” The index attempts to calculate a nation’s “brand power” – yet another element that plays into domestic efforts to lure investors, tourists, and consumers. Unfortunately, so far the Index only covers 25 countries (with Australia leading the way) and very few developing nations are included.

Future of the Millennium Challenge Corporation?

The first three years of the MCC have been described as shaky, with only a total of $610 million being committed to just four countries. However, the authors of a recent Brookings' study remain optimistic:

Sadly, the MCA program is limping, largely as a result of self-inflicted injuries… [though] criticism of the MCC for getting off to a slow start is missing the point… The decision to create the MCC still looks sensible.

Jeffrey Sachs in Scientific American

Nothing terribly new here if you have read "The End of Poverty" or his other recent articles inspired by his work with the UN Millennium Project – though this one has a slightly more “scientific” twist:

Governments turn down private debt

More than ever, governments in developing countries have access to capital markets, but most are not using it. Instead, they have restructured their debt portfolios, cutting the share of private sector debt and increasing the share of longer-term multilateral debt... The evidence suggests that most governments are sensibly taking advantage of their menu of financing options.

Sports, business and development

Sports are universally popular – it doesn't matter if the ball is made out of leather, rags, or whether it is just a tin can. Sport also has the unique ability to engage across cultural differences, while incorporating built-in mechanisms that promote aspiration, reward effort and encourage teamwork. Accordingly, many groups (such as IBLF) have suggested that sport is an area where development partnerships between donors and businesses might flourish.