Free to Choose Media asks,

What institutions can enable the world’s poor to realize their power and achieve prosperity?

The best blog answer can win $250. The forthcoming book, From Poverty to Prosperity, by yours truly and Nick Schulz, would say that the answers are probably local rather than global. That is, the institutions that work in a particular country will depend on cultural and historical factors that are peculiar to that county.

Having said that, my number one vote would be open immigration. My sense is that it is much easier for people to move to where there are institutions that are good for them than it is to try to design and impose institutions on people. (Yes, open immigration would have to be imposed on people, too.) Truly open immigration would be the biggest game-changer of all. Of course, because of that, anyone with an ounce of conservatism would be worried about unintended consequences, and such worries are reasonable.

If you don’t have a blog, feel free to put your proposals here, and I will post some of them in a subsequent entry.

Do visit the contest link. The point is to promote a PBS video featuring Hernando de Soto that will premier on October 8.