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Many developing countries are stuck in small, low-productivity farms. Such countries also have poor property rights institutions, which create transaction costs towards reallocating land to large farms. I look at how transaction costs from historical property rights institutions affected the agricultural structure of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

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This paper analyzes the response of the Spanish Red Cross to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, looking for clues of the remarkable lean-agile performance of this organization, and how they could be applied to business operations. The paper first looks into the history and organization of the Red Cross, analyzing in more detail the deployment of the Spanish Red Cross in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

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On January 12, 2010, an earthquake in Haiti sent shockwaves across the world, triggering an unprecedented international response. Not even counting the outpouring of solidarity from within Haiti, which largely went uncounted and unacknowledged, the outpouring of international aid was unparalleled in recent memory: at a March 2010 United Nations conference, world governments pledged $10 billion, with over half of those funds earmarked for the following eighteen months.

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Poverty is rampant in Haiti. In 2000 three-fourths of the population lived on less than the equivalent of two US dollars per day and half on less than one dollar. Ten years later, in the middle of this poverty, the earthquake struck. Poverty is no newcomer to Haiti. It has been a steady companion for the last half-century or even century. Low incomes have forced Haitians to leave their country to an increasing extent.

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