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New private infrastructure research

Cleaning out the inbox, some recent publications on private participation in infrastructure (PPI):

1) An excellent new research database on the economic performance of infrastructure

2) ‘Coercive isomorphism’ and the political backlash against PPI

Cambodia goes organic

From the BBC:

With the future of the garment sector uncertain, Cambodia is looking for other sources of income - and one of the areas under consideration is organic farming. The government says it hopes the country could become the "green farm of Asia", and export its produce to Europe and the United States.

But there are co-ordination problems to overcome:

Land markets: promoting development by improving access

LandmarketsvptLand markets that allow access to land—and to buildings—through secure property rights, at transparent prices, and with efficient permitting processes and land tax systems are essential to a good business environment.

A pay rise for European cows

Johan Norberg:

I often use the figure that a European cow gets $2 a day in subsidies - more than the average income of 2.7 billion people around the world. Now thing have changed. Europe´s cows have had a pay rise. Oxfam´s calculations show that they used to get $2.20 a day, but in 2003, they got $2.62.

Made from waste, packaged in waste

TerraCycle produces a powerful, organic, eco-friendly plant food that is the first mass produced product in the world to be packaged in used plastic soda bottles. To go even further the entire product is made out of garbage from the contents to its packaging. This allows TerraCycle Plant Food to be the first mass produced consumer product to have a negative environmental footprint.

How to improve the performance of state enterprises?

State enterprises on average account for 15% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa and more than 50% of GDP in MENA. In India, more than 40 percent of the capital stock is state-owned. Heavily represented in infrastructure, finance, and energy sectors, state-firms are often two to three times less productive than private firms. Their lack of investment capital affects the delivery of critical infrastructure services while their losses are a fiscal burden. High levels of state ownership also create negative perceptions of the overall investment climate.