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Better Rules Are a Kind of Technology

December 27, 2011

David Leonhardt in the NYT:

Economists have long understood that technological advance is crucial to economic growth and, by extension, higher living standards. In recent years, thanks partly to the work of Paul Romer, a New York University professor, they have also begun to recognize the importance of processes, rules and systems. The great advances in health and longevity came not only from new medicines but, more important, from the spread of clean water, sanitation systems and rules requiring doctors to wash their hands…You can make a good argument — as Romer and others do — that the greatest opportunities for progress today lie with better rules and systems. 

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