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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 39 No. 4 (December 2001)

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Review of de Soto's The Mystery of Capital

Article Citation

Woodruff, Christopher. 2001. "Review of de Soto's The Mystery of Capital." Journal of Economic Literature, 39(4): 1215-1223.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.39.4.1215

Abstract

In The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Soto promotes his explanation of why formal capital markets function poorly in developing countries. De Soto argues that much of the population of developing countries lacks access to credit, not because they lack assets, but because ownership of their property is secured informally, which prevents the use of property as collateral. The inability to convert assets into capital keeps the developing world from benefiting from capitalism.

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Authors

Woodruff, Christopher (U CA, San Diego)

JEL Classifications

O16: Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
P14: Capitalist Systems: Property Rights


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