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Failure is acceptable

The Shell Foundation has recently published 'Aid industry reform and the role of enterprise'. (Disclosure: I once worked for Shell.) The report - really an extended op-ed - offers an interesting contrast between what an entrepreneur has to do to get a loan, and what the aid industry needs to do.

There's now a pretty strong consensus that official development assistance not only failed to boost economic growth in poor countries, but on the whole appears to have reduced it.

Forum on the future of aid

ODI has launched a virtual Forum on the Future of Aid (FFA).

…dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next. The Forum is a discussion network, with expert research, briefing and consulting support, dedicated to the international aid system - the so-called 'aid architecture' - and how it evolves over time.

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: