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The Other Path Paperback – Bargain Price, September 5, 2002
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If you've read de Soto's master work "The Mystery of Capitalism," then there is no new news here. In fact, "The Other Path" will look out-of-date with its yellowing statistics. So why the five stars? As a testament to de Soto's bravery. Think about the guts it took for him to research and publish this book in Peru during the tumultuous and frightening period there. What a statement.
The first part of the book is a detailed analysis of three sectors of the Peruvian economy: housing, transport, and trade (small manufacturing and retail primarily). In each of these, De Soto demonstrates how the barriers raised by regulation and legal process from both right and left wing governments in Peru have forced the majority of persons participating to do so in informal/illegal ways. The result is that formal activity bears the brunt of taxation and informals have little protection in terms of property rights, contractual instruments, and so on. The net result is that everyone is impoverished. This section of the book can be tough reading because of the amount of detail, but its necessary in order to understand the importance of the second half.
The second half suggests that the Peruvian situation is really the reemergence of mercantilism, not a market economy. De Soto then provides some suggestions to peacefully transitiont to a market economy, and convincing warnings that failure to do so will almost certainly result in a violent transition.
The points that De Soto makes are increasingly significant to non-Peruvians as societies like America have increasingly centralised economies. Ironically, the cover includes blurbs from both Presidents Bush and Clinton. One suspects that netiher of them actually read the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was a required book for school but loved it! It was a fast read with an interesting perspective on terrorism. Loved the information presentation.Published 1 month ago by Kalyn
Interesting book. I read this for my econ Latin America class. It clearly explains the formal versus informal sectors of the country. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carmen Flores
Great book, although is centered on Peru the message applies to most (if not all) Latin American countriesPublished 8 months ago by Allan Ramirez
the classic that brought the breakthrough in terms of breaking the power of corrupt mercantilism in two thirds world countries by creating the environment for land tenure and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Viv Grigg
Important study of Peru and what happens (or does not happen) when there is excessive regulation. In Peru's case, excessive regulation led to the strangulation of the economy and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Glenn D. Robinson
De Soto advocates free markets, taking care to differentiate free markets from mercantilism: "Mercantilism can be defined as the supply and demand for monopoly rights by means... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Matthew Rafat