Is Economic Growth a Question of Culture?: A decade of research shows how culture seeps into economic decisions

As some countries’ economies churn steadily—even briskly—over time, others’ remain stagnant. While standard economic variables, such as productivity and availability of capital, explain international differences, some of these differences remain unexplained. Gaps in economic development often seem to fall along cultural lines. “Culture and economics, they move together,” says Paola Sapienza, a professor of finance … Read more

7 Considerations for Mobile Money Cash Grants to Change Development

Let us start with the classic (borderline cliché) development proverb: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but if he is taught how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. It was this analogy that got conversation started at the latest Technology Salon, “Are Mobile Money Cash Transfers the … Read more

Innovation and Insurance: Protection Against the Costs of Natural Disaster

Natural disasters – such as tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones and floods – are costly to society, in terms of both human destruction and financial losses. Governments ultimately bear the full cost of the havoc wreaked by natural disasters, which can create an enormous strain on limited government budgets, especially in developing countries. This is even before we begin to … Read more

USAID Landscape Survey: Mobiles and Youth Workforce Development

Youth make up 17 percent of the world’s population and 40 percent of the world’s unemployed, according to the International Labor Organization. A number of factors combine to make sustainable, decent employment an enormous challenge for youth the world over, including low levels of education and technical skills, slow job growth, lack of information about … Read more

Sparking Innovation in Post-Conflict Nations

Conflict and post-conflict countries traumatized by years of instability are not commonly thought of as a source for entrepreneurial talent. Nonetheless, even under the most difficult circumstances, incredible entrepreneurial and innovative talent can and does surface. According to the World Bank’s Fragile and Conflict Situations unit, one in four people in the world – more … Read more


Francis Stevens George. Written in 1993. Has not been updated The question of economic motivation is fundamental to economic development. This has become more so when we the vibrant, almost succeed or die attitude of the Hong Kong Chinese, Taiwanese, South Koreans for example. Although the factors are complex, few would argue that this relentless … Read more