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Hernando de Soto quotes (showing 1-6 of 6)

“In Haiti, untitled rural and urban real estate holdings are together worth some 5.2 billion. To put that sum in context, it is four times the total of all the assets of all the legally operating companies in Haiti, nine times the value of all assets owned by the government, and 158 times the value of all foreign direct investment in Haiti's recorded history to 1995.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
“The way law stays alive is by remaining in touch with social contracts pieced together among real people on the ground.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
“Without an integrated formal property system, a modern market economy is inconceivable. Had the advanced nations of the West not integrated all representations into one standardized property system and made it accessible to all, they could not have specialized and divided labor to create the expanded market network and capital that have produced their present wealth. The inefficiencies of non-Western markets have a lot to do with the fragmentation of their property arrangements and the unavailability of standard representations.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
“The past is many nations' present.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
“If there are costs to becoming legal, there are also bound to be costs to remaining outside the law. We found that operating outside the world of legal work and business was surprisingly expensive. In Peru, for example, the cost of operating a business extralegally includes paying 10 to 15 per cent of its annual income in bribes and commissions to authorities. Add to such payoffs the costs of avoiding penalties, making transfers outside legal channels and operating from dispersed locations and without credit, and the life of the extralegal entrepreneur turns out to be far more costly and full of daily hassles than that of the legal businessman. Perhaps the most significant cost was caused by the absence of institutions that create incentives for people to seize economic and social opportunities to specialize within the market place. We found that people who could not operate within the law also could not hold property efficiently or enforce contracts through the courts; nor could they reduce uncertainty through limited liability systems and insurance policies, or create stock companies to attract additional capital and share risk. Being unable to raise money for investment, they could not achieve economies of scale or protect their innovations through royalties and patents.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery Of Capital
“In Peru, for instance, people formed agricultural cooperatives to buy estates from their old owners and to convert them into housing and industrial settlements. Because there are no easy legal ways to change land tenure, farmers in state-owned cooperatives illegally subdivided the land into smaller, privately held parcels. As a result, few if any have valid title to their ground.”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery Of Capital


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