For say, a banana picker in the Central African Republic…The trade barriers at the borders of the rich world may have disappeared, but if our picker wants to sell his bananas abroad he first has to get them onto a ship bound for America or Europe. That takes 116 days, and an incredible 38 signatures — each one an opportunity for some official to collect a bribe.
That is by Tim Harford, from today’s New York Times. Today in fact was Tim Harford day, here is his Slate piece, which, among other things, recounts his dinner at China Star with yours truly. Here is an account of his recent lunch with Tom Schelling.