Lack of Legal Status for Poor Keeps Them “In Constant Fear”

The passage below is quoted from a WSJ summary of an article in the July 16, 2007 issue of Time:

(p. B5) Writing in Time magazine, Ms. Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, and Mr. de Soto, a Peruvian-born economist who heads the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, say that about half of the world’s population work in shadow economies. They generally lack birth certificates, legal addresses or, crucially, deeds to their shacks and market stalls. “Without legal documents, they live in constant fear of being evicted by local officials or landlords,” write Ms. Albright and Mr. de Soto, who co-chair the U.N. Commission on Legal Empowerment of the poor. As a result, the poor are unable to invest or even plan for the future.

For the full summary, see:
“The Informed Reader; Poverty; Lack of Strong Legal Identity Helps Keep Down World’s Poor.” Wall Street Journal (Fri., July 6, 2007): B5.

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