Working as a Team with the State

The developing world is characterized by widespread mistrust of the state, with government seen as incompetent at best and corrupt at worst. Yet pillorying the state is pointless. In Brazil, the state made a successful push with conditional cash transfers to move people from poverty to subsistence. But would-be entrepreneurs there have stagnated, lacking a bridge to society’s mainstream. If one thinks of the different parts of society as members of a team, the situation is much like the selecão—Brazil’s fabled football team—which has fallen apart lately. In India, by contrast, an unlikely entrepreneurial partnership ...

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