When I visited Jamaica in the Fall of 2009, here is how a knowledgeable observer described the political reality facing the government: Desperately needed policy steps—steps that any objective observer would recognize as being good for the country—would cost the government many votes in the next election. Continue reading “Enfranchising the Jamaican Diaspora”
The pressing need in Haiti is for food, water, and medical care, plus assistance in re-establishing basic services like policing, power, sanitation, and telecommunications.
This kind of aid and assistance has to be the highest priority now, but many people are already looking ahead. Continue reading “Charter Cities Versus Humanitarian Military Occupation”
We would like to believe that democracy will lead to steady improvement in the rules that a society follows. In principle, it seems self-evident that if a rule is bad, citizens or their representatives vote for a better one. In practice, it is not always this simple. Continue reading “Meta-Rules: Base Realignment and Closure Commission”
According to Transparency International’s corruption index, corruption is “sticky.” Over time corrupt countries tend to remain corrupt, while clean countries remain clean. This makes it tempting to lean on cultural interpretations to explain the persistence or absence corruption. Continue reading “Rules and Culture: Corruption in Hong Kong”
Most economists think that they are building cranes that suspend important theoretical structures from a base that is firmly grounded in first principles. In fact, they almost always invoke a skyhook, some unexplained result without which the entire structure collapses. Continue reading “Skyhooks versus Cranes: The Nobel Prize For Elinor Ostrom”
At a recent talk in London, Chris Blattman asked if a charter city could fail in the same way that public housing failed in Chicago. After the seminar and in his follow up post, we started a discussion of the deeper issue: What kind of dynamics would be desirable in the space of rules? Continue reading “New Systems Versus Evolution”
Bob Haywood is the former head of the World Economic Processing Zones Association and the current executive director of the One Earth Future foundation. He wrote in with an interesting example: a recent treaty between two countries that specified the charter for a city. Continue reading “Which City Charter Was Established by Treaty in 1984?”
A friend wrote in to ask, “Can more than a handful of charter cities succeed?” The best way to answer his question is to pose a slightly different one. “How many big cities can there be?” Continue reading “How Many Charter Cities Can Succeed?”
“OK, it’s one year too late to be part of the 1960s (although a ragged version from 1967 is available on the outtakes DVD from the Monterey Pop festival.) There’s no improvisation. No lead. No discernible influence of jazz, country, bluegrass or blues. But if you play it loud, this song reminds you that in the end, live rock and roll was all about having fun.”
Click here to read the full article edited by Courtney Boyd Myers.