Charter Cities: Call me Skeptical

October 5, 2009

Economist Paul Romer has worked up an idea he calls “charter cities” and put up a web site about it.  Also described in this interview.  Something like an economic free-trade zone raised to the full-blown status of a city.  The main distinction is an express intent to import workers from underdeveloped parts of the world, and this based on the theory that what they need is a modern physical and social infrastructure.  As he puts it, in an optimistic present tense,”Charter cities let people move to a place with rules that provide security, economic opportunity, and improved quality of life.”

I have at least two questions off the bat.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ceremonial Blog-Opening First Post

October 1, 2009

At the outset my idea is that this can be a place for writings related to my research but less formal than standard academic work.  But also less transient than the kind of comments made in email conversations with friends.

Doing this kind of writing in a blog makes it easy to share with friends and colleagues.  At this point I’m not seeking a larger audience.  The public nature of blogging however is an interesting complement to the public side of academic work today – to the fact that, whether you like it or not, you have a presence on the internet.  Being public and associated with my “real identity” also imposes a certain discipline on the writing, compared to what I might say in an email to friends.

This mission statement may change, or along with many who’ve tried this, I might abandon the project entirely.