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Housing Affordability: Top-Down Design and Spontaneous Order

At what scale level should top-down planning progressively vanish to allow a spontaneous order to emerge? And what local norms are necessary for this spontaneous order to result in viable neighborhoods that are easily connected to a metropolitan-wide infrastructure? Examples from Southeast Asia show that an equilibrium between top-down designed infrastructure and neighborhoods created through spontaneous order mechanisms can be achieved. Spontaneous order ignored or persecuted by government results only in slums.
Alain Bertaud

Read the policy brief here.
Listen to the podcast episode here.
See the infographic here.

Financial development and occupational choice: Evidence from India

Theory suggests that capital market frictions might inhibit entrepreneurship, and that financial market development is likely to be associated with an increase in self-employment. But what are the effects of increasing access to finance in developing countries where the bulk of the self-employed work in micro-enterprises? Evidence from a large survey of over one million randomly selected Indian households suggests that opposite effects may be observed . . . 
By: Rajeev Dehejia, and Nandini Gupta

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

Over the last century, global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right “expert” solutions. Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems without addressing the systemic political factors that created them in the first place. Further, they produce an accidental collusion with “benevolent autocrats,” leaving dictators with yet more power to violate the rights of the poor . . .