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September 2005

Economic Freedom of the World 2005

The 2005 version of the often-cited CATO report was released this morning. Their main conclusion:

Economic freedom is almost 50 times more effective than democracy in restraining nations from going to war… The impact of economic freedom on whether states fight or have a military dispute is highly significant while democracy is not a statistically significant predictor of conflict.

Private education under the radar

James Tooley argues that private education is cheaper and more effective than public education.

For instance, in Lagos State, the mean maths score advantage over government schools was about 15 and 19 percentage points more respectively in private registered and unregistered schools, while in English it was 23 and 30 percentage points more.

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.