Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Paragraph--People and Institutions

A post on Roving Bandit, who's involved somehow (I forget how and am too lazy to check) with NGO's and development in east Africa:
We know the secret of development. It is good institutions. We have a reasonable idea what good institutions entail. The only problem is that we have very little idea about how good institutions are established in societies that currently have bad ones.
The bandit goes on to argue the simplest remedy is to have the inhabitants of societies with "bad institutions" emigrate to societies with "good" ones. It'd be easier to take 1 million Afghans from Asia and integrate them into the EU, Canada, and the US than it would be to develop good institutions for them in Afghanistan.

The argument appeals to me, but I'm not sure why.  I see a lot of cultural things persist and persist in our society and yet there's lots and lots of change between the original culture of immigrants and the culture they adopt in the U.S>

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