Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We Undermine Trust at our Own Risk and Peril

Partha Dasgupta, Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, seems to be stating the obvious: trust-building is the foundation of everything positive we wish to achieve. But his paper is illuminating in the sense that it treads where standard economic theory fails to convey the key insights on why some countries outperform others.

For instance, he clearly demonstrates how productivity, competitiveness and socio-economic development are linked to trust among all stakeholders. That's a far cry from a TINAwallah's perspective. Of course, implementing the proper mechanism to curb breach of trust is a challenge.

It is also true that fuelling mutual cynicism is not a viable option. Whether at the micro level, like a household and a firm, or the national level where compliance to rule of law must be the most pervasive and strongest. The more so when sanction for leadership failure has become so elusive.

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