Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big questions, new index

Are we in The Great Stagnation (as Tyler Cowen argues)? Will Chinese economic growth continue after off-the-shelf technologies have been used up? Will newly democratic nations in the Arab world (assuming we get any) be any more prosperous than in despotic days? How to answer these big questions?

The Feb 26 Economist's Schumpeter column ("Uncorking enterprise ... Policy makers are desperate to promote enterprise. A new index could help") points to a newly developed Global Entrepreneurship and Development index by Profs Zoltan Acs and Erkko Autio.

The Schumpeter column review is mixed, but it all sounds like a worthy first step. The news coverage from North Africa often falls into the trap of suggesting that once the autocrats are gone, there will be prosperity. Perhaps it is much more about any newly open societies making entrepreneurship possible. The new index can re-direct the discussion this way.