We hope this abstract can be useful to those searching information aimed to write appropriated essays in economics development fresh topics. The book is a compilation of the IFC/FT First Annual Essay Competition (2006) entitled "Business and Development: The Private Path to Prosperity", aimed at encouraging new thinking in the ongoing dialog on the role of business in development.
The compilation contains the following essays:
1. Educating Amaretch: Private Schools for the Poor and the New Frontier for Investors. James Tooley. ( pp.4-15).
2. Traveling Down the Other Path: Learning to See Extra-legality as an Investment Opportunity. Matthew Bird. (pp.16-25) 3. Innovation of a Global Local Currency Microfinance Fund Maheshan Fernando (pp. 26-41).
4. ICTs as Appropriate Technologies for African Development Kristin Davis and Cosmos Ochieng. (pp.42-55).
5. Pro-Market Beliefs amongst Argentine Squatters Rafael di Tella, Sebastian Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky. (pp. 56-65).
6. Managing Policy Risk. Witold Henisz and Bennet Zelner. (pp. 66-79)
The essay''s titles themselves give us a hint on what a great source of refreshing ideas to undertake research and investigation works on development problems could it be "out there". The range of topics was diverse to include subjects running the gamut from dealing with the informal sector, innovations in microfinance, financing investment in infrastructure, PSD in post-conflict environments, private provision of education to improving the enabling environment for foreign direct investments.
The winning essays neatly illustrate these two themes. "Educating Amaretch: Private Schools for the Poor and the New Frontier for Investors" stands for those who take the "markets at the bottom of the pyramid" seriously. Markets can provide solutions for low income citizens, where standard state or donor-driven approaches may struggle – even in primary education.
The two second prize entries dream up ways to help people move out of informality and provide them with new opportunity. The ideas: new market-based approaches that may solve contracting and financing problems. The three third-prize essays variously discuss attitudes towards development. One discusses how the creation of property rights for poor people gives them a new perspective on markets and initiative. Another emphasizes the challenge to firms not just to fear and complain about government actions but to help structure approaches that are politically sustainable. The advent of modern communication technology argues another essay provides opportunities to think about institutional approaches more adapted to the realities of Africa than simple imitation of "modern" economic systems. Clearly, the ideas of Hernando de Soto about helping people out of informality and the ideas of C.K. Prahalad about the "bottom of the pyramid" have inspired many essays as has the practical success of entrepreneurs.
Obviously, in order to have an insight on the themes boarded , each essay deserves a particular analysis. They encourage thinking for any future abstracts or better: essays that deals with the understanding of resulting problems from the market solutions applied in projects undertaken by the International Foreign Corporation in developing countries, and what may be done about them.
And last but no least, the compilation is missing a list of the approximately 500 essays submitted to the competition from 70 countries. It could have been –no matter its evaluation- a good source of the ideas floating out there an a reference for investigation and research. Nonetheless, it is mentioned that roughly four-fifths of the submissions came from emerging markets nationals, while 21% of these authors were based in the US, 15% in Nigeria and 13% from India. In terms of professions, an overwhelming number of submissions came from universities and think-tanks with business and economics focus. Inerms of themes the two most dominant were the critical role the private sector can and should play in development; and, on the need for the private sector to extend its role in emerging market economies, including into sectors traditionally dominated by the public sector. And that at the same time there were only few essays that discussed issues of corporate social responsibility in an original way. There were very few essays that dealt with environmental topics. Hardly any essay tried to provide interesting portrayals of inequalities and individual insecurity arising from growth in the absence of supportive social policies or questioned the prevailing economic orthodoxy.