The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

Why does capitalism thrive only in the West? Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has an original answer: property rights. The third world is full of capital ($9.3 trillion is his estimate), but it’s what he calls dead capital-“houses but not titles, crops but not deeds, businesses but not statutes of incorporation.” Indeed, in many developing countries the idea of legally documenting personal possessions and property … [ Read more ]