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Evolutionary Rule Changes Won’t Necessarily Doom a “Charter City”: An Analogy With the Dynamic Rules of “Open-Source Chess”

On Monday March 15, Paul Romer gave an impassioned presentation here of his proposal that donor countries add a new tool to their toolkit for helping the world’s poorest – the establishment of “charter cities”.  As you can learn in more detail here, such cities are conceived as contracts between three parties: a poor country which provides the land, one or more rich countries which establish the rules and norms and invest in the infrastructure and entrepreneu

A New Kind of Degree for Development Professionals

Get ready for a new kind of training in development.  We are about to see massive expansion of a new graduate degree—Master’s in Development Practice (MDP)—all over the world.  Today the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a grant of $5.6 million in support for the creation of such programs at ten universities, doubling the worldwide number of these programs.

The United States Can Give Better Aid to Haiti

This commentary also appeared on The Huffington Post and Global Post

Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.

But pledging money is the easy part. The United States, the lead donor and friend with the greatest interest in Haiti's future development, can do much more, in two ways: its own aid programs can be more effective; and it can take steps beyond aid that are far more critical to long-run prosperity for Haiti's people.

Dubai's Labor Market - A Model for Other Countries?

Dubai has many unique features—it is a city state arising improbably out of the desert, boasting some extraordinary buildings, including a hotel shaped like an Arabian dhow and a 12 million sq ft shopping mall, with a fountain four times the size of the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  But despite this uniqueness, its labor market policies may well serve as a model for other countries.  Dubai has actively sought talent from all corners of the world—its population of 1.7 million has four times as many foreigners as locals.  These guest workers staff hotels, drive cabs, build skyscrapers, a

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