Monday, November 1, 2010

Economics and Development

In the 1990s, economist Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he’s trying to help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish foreign-run “charter cities” within their borders. Romer’s idea is unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain’s historic lease of Hong Kong. Against all odds, he just might make it happen, but he is bent on cutting down an adversary almost as resistant: the conventional approach to development in poor countries. Rather than betting that aid dollars can beat poverty, Romer is peddling a radical vision: that dysfunctional nations can kick-start their own development by creating new cities with new rules." Is Romer's unconventional approach to economic development a viable one in years to come? What are your opinions?

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Picture Courtesy of Mark Ostow

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