Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Better late than never

I first learned about the World Bank's Rule of Law Index in Reason via a Ronald Bailey piece in 2005. In the August/September 2007 issue, Bailey adds a fascinating interview with the World Bank's Kirk Hamilton.

Wealth is mostly about intagibles, especially the quality of institutions that promote enterepreneurial activity.

It all makes good sense but one has to consider the source. The Bank had been foremost in espousing and financing simple-minded infrasrructure mega-investments. It is now seemingly moving in the direction of Peter Bauer -- and Julian Simon and F. A. Hayek and Adam Smith.

The late realization puts the big questions and problems front-and-center. How can the Bank (or anyone) foster beneficial institutions where there had been none? Better late than never.