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- The process of globalization and increased rates of urbanization are forcing countries to rethink their approach to economic policy.
- Widespread reluctance to implement comprehensive reforms and burdensome legal and regulatory regimes are impediments to economic growth and entrepreneurship.
- Enterprise Cities, akin to free trade zones, are one possible solution to this problem. These are special jurisdictions with investor-friendly legal and regulatory policies that create the pre-conditions for entrepreneurship and stimulate competition-based growth.
The first decade of the 21st century began with massive ethics scandals at blue chip corporations such as Enron and Tyco, and ended with a worldwide financial implosion on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. The financial crisis and subsequent economic recession – resulting in part from questionable risks undertaken by large financial firms – has caused many to question the underlying ethical values of business, from shareholder rights to executive compensation. Business ethics and sustainability have become hot button issues at leading business schools around the world and are working their way further into finance and accounting curricula.Read more...
As the communist transition unfolded in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, strong and effective judiciary reform would have created a judiciary system that supported a conducive, market-based business environment. Without private property protection, contracts are not enforced, access to the courts is unequal, and a market economy cannot take root. Yet, in many transition countries judiciary reform has been slow or insufficient. Much attention, instead, has been devoted to the development of laws and regulations.Read more...
Impact of the Global Financial Crisis
The impact of the global financial crisis on Africa has not been as bad as some expected. Sound economic policies of the past several years, better financial management, lower debt levels, and ironically the blessing of not being so integrated into the global financial system all contributed. European countries like Iceland and Greece are facing financial meltdowns; the United States has been forced to expand its debt and deficits to historic levels in order to forestall even further decline. Nevertheless, in Africa the crisis led to a decline in the previous five years of solid growth of 5-7 percent annually to just over 1 percent in 2009.
This decline has an impact on families and the social fabric. The cost of this decline is all the more upsetting considering that Africa is the one continent that will not meet hardly any of the Millennium Development Goals, and the problems are most acute in sub-Saharan Africa.Read more...
Elections are not the sole ingredient of a democracy. In a genuinely democratic state, the policymaking process must reflect the desires and priorities of the citizens, and state mechanisms must be capable of responding to their needs. Considered to be among the world’s worst performers in several areas of public governance, the Philippines continues to struggle in consolidating democracy. Corruption and unreliable public services at the local level of government are especially disruptive to smaller firms and community groups, even though they attract fewer headlines than central government scandals.Read more...
Private-Public Dialogue in West Africa: Moving Beyond the Financial Crisis Toward Democratic Development
The Financial Crisis in West Africa
Although the impact of the financial crisis in West Africa has not been as severe or as immediate as in the United States or Western Europe, it has affected local economies, governments, and citizens alike. To better understand the effects of the crisis, it is important to properly recognize the regional context.
West Africa is not well integrated into the world economy. Its trade and economic structures still resemble those that were in existence during the colonial period, with the region largely seen as a supplier of natural products and raw materials. Today, the bulk of the region’s economies still focus on exporting cocoa, timber, gold, and similar goods.
West Africa is not very integrated into the global financial system, so a severe global financial crisis did not have an immediate impact and, at first, was not as dramatic as in other regions. After some delay, however, the financial crisis has begun to have an impact on West African economies – namely through remittances, manufacturing, and financing for business.Read more...
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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CIPE welcomes articles submitted by readers. Most articles run between 3-7 pages (1000-3000 words), but all submissions relevant to CIPE's mission of building accountable, democratic institutions through market-oriented reform will be considered based on merit. Economic Reform Feature Service articles are primarily geared toward an international, non-academic community of businesspeople, economic reformers, and policy-makers. Specific policy recommendations and articles based on direct experience are encouraged. In addition to articles, we are willing to adapt suitable lectures, speeches, research notes, and academic papers.
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