Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Monday, September 24, 2007

OLPC update

From BBC News:
Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called "$100 laptop".

The organisation behind the project has launched the "give one, get one" scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198).

One laptop will be sent to the buyer whilst a child in the developing world will receive the second machine

Put me down for two (or four)...

Prediction: The price is too low, the quantity demanded will be greater than the quantity supplied, the ensuing shortage will motivate secondary market for OLPC machines at somewhere around $800 (okay, the actual price prediction is over the top).

I have argued that the OLPC program will arguably improve the lot of a significant number of children but not for the reasons anticipated. Kids will sell their OLPC machines for the equivalent of two three year's wages - that's not what's intended, but the market will win in the end.

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