Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Testing the Theories of Obama's Mama

A colleague of President Obama's mother, Ann Dunham Soetoro, had an Op-Ed in the Times yesterday describing her work.

Her theories: Small business owners in the developing world are enterprising entrepreneurs whose primary constraint to growth is access to capital.

She developed her theories starting in the late '70s, and published them in a thesis in 1992. Radical at the time, they are now largely mainstream.

But how do we know that they are right? It's an appealing theory, but how do we test it?

Well, you could do something like give business training services to a random group of microenterprises, then give a capital grant to an overlapping random group of microenterprises and see whether it's only capital from preventing their growth, or also (or only) business know-how.

Guess what I'm doing in Ghana?

No comments:

Post a Comment