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Review of de Soto's The Mystery of Capital

  • Christopher Woodruff

In The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Soto promotes his explanation of why formal capital markets function poorly in developing countries. De Soto argues that much of the population of developing countries lacks access to credit, not because they lack assets, but because ownership of their property is secured informally, which prevents the use of property as collateral. The inability to convert assets into capital keeps the developing world from benefiting from capitalism.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.39.4.1215
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 39 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1215-1223

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:39:y:2001:i:4:p:1215-1223
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.39.4.1215
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  1. Friedman, Joseph & Jimenez, Emmanuel & Mayo, Stephen K., 1988. "The demand for tenure security in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 185-198, September.
  2. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1984. "Tenure Security and Urban Squatting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(4), pages 556-67, November.
  3. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  4. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
  7. Jean O. Lanjouw & Philip I. Levy, 2002. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 986-1019, October.
  8. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World; Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  10. Rossini, R. G. & Thomas, J. J., 1990. "The size of the informal sector in Peru: A critical comment on Hernando de Soto's El Otro Sendero," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 125-135, January.
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