Developing Nations

The Secrets of Intangible Wealth

A good read about why corrupt nations are unable to prosper regardless of the amount of aid they get. I wonder how much "intangible wealth" the US has lost in the last 7 years? I like to see numbers being put on these concepts, because I agree that they are by far the most important factors in any country's prosperity.


A Mexican migrant to the U.S. is five times more productive than one who stays home. Why is that?The answer is not the obvious one: This country has more machinery or tools or natural resources. Instead, according to some remarkable but largely ignored research—by the World Bank, of all places—it is because the average American has access to over $418,000 in intangible wealth, while the stay-at-home Mexican's intangible wealth is just $34,000. Intangible wealth are things like the trust among people in a society, an efficient judicial system, clear property rights and effective government. All this intangible capital also boosts the productivity of labor and results in higher total wealth. In fact, the World Bank finds, "Human capital and the value of institutions (as measured by rule of law) constitute the largest share of wealth in virtually all countries."

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