Making Enterprises and Markets Responsible

This is a paper written to further Richard Cornuelle’s abiding vision of a more responsible economy and posted here to invite comment. The basic idea is revisit the whole idea of a market economy dominated by absentee-owned and publicly traded corporations (“Wall Street Capitalism”) that disconnect companies (“the Mother of all disconnects”) from the natural desires of the people working in the companies to improve their communities.

Helping People Help Themselves

The full title to this book is: Helping People Help Themselves: From
the World Bank to an Alternative Philosophy of Development Assistance. The book is an intellectual analysis, giving a full history of the relevant ideas, of the various modes of “helping” in general and development assistance in particular.

Revisiting Hirschman

This paper revisits the seminal early work of the late Albert Hirschman on development strategy and his critique of the “big push” strategies in order to elucidate the current debates about conditionality-based aid and comprehensive development programs.

Why Shock Therapy was Wrong

This article in Challenge May-June 2003 tried to pull together thoughts on two questions: the overall institutional change strategy and the alternatives to and arguments against voucher privatization.

The Two Institutional Logics

This paper, published in a Korean English-language journal, argued for the logic of commitment in the design of a firm rather than the logic of exit. The contrasts between these two logics is explored in many fields.

Lessons from East Europe’s Voucher Privatization

This article examines the “economic” arguments put forward in favor of voucher privatization and it gives an institutional analysis of how the investment funds might be expected to behave in spite of expectations seen through rose-colored glasses. As one of the “great” social experiments of the late 20th century, some lessons for the future are drawn.

Mixing Truth & Power: A Guest Editorial

After the dissent-motivated departures of Joseph Stiglitz, Ravi Kanbur, and now Bill Easterly, even “the most casual observer” can begin to “connect the dots” and see that the Bank is having a problem handling dissent and criticism coming from internal sources. This editorial in the World Bank Staff Association Newsletter traces the problem to the organizational stance of taking “Official Views” on the complex questions of development–thereby mixing power and truth to the detriment of the latter.

Getting the bugs out of the Knowledge Bank

This note argues that the World Bank should base the Knowledge Bank on the way human learn, not the way insects learn.

World Bank survey paper on migration

This survey of the literature on migration and development was my last written product before retiring from the World Bank. But the results of years of documented experience is that migration leads to poverty alleviation (remittances) but not development. This is not the message that the Bank wants to hear so the results are largely ignored.

Should Development Agencies Have Official Views?

The major development agencies have ex cathedra “Official Views” (with varying degrees of explicitness) on the complex and controversial questions of development. At the same time, knowledge is now more than ever recognized as key to development—in the idea of a “knowledge bank” or knowledge-based development assistance. I argue that these two practices are in direct conflict—much as making Lysenko’s views as “Official Soviet Science” was in conflict with the progress of the science of genetics in the Soviet Union. When an agency attaches its “brand name” to certain Official Views, then it is very difficult for the agency to also be a learning organization or to foster genuine learning in the clients.