Category: Formalization

Seed money

18 October, 2013 (09:00) | Economics, Ecosystem, Emerging markets, Finance, Formalization, Informality, Innovations, Law, Mafia, Marijuana, Massachusetts, Microfinance, Speculation, US News |

By:David A. Smith   Now that medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, people can buy it – can’t they?    It’s true I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldn’t be so friendly if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling which they consider a harmless vice. But drugs, that’s […]

Outbreak of informality: Part 2, Don’t think of it as protection money

19 September, 2013 (09:00) | Airbnb, Apartments, Formalization, Hotels, Housing, Informality, Markets, New York City, Regulation, Rent stabilization, Rental, Sublets, Theory, US News |

[Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   In yesterday’s post, riffing on a short article in Crains New York (August 19, 2013) about New York City’s efforts to ‘do something’ about the outbreak of people renting their apartments for short-term stays via Airbnb and similar web sites, I explored the whole category […]

Outbreak of informality: Part 1, Ignore it and hope it’ll go away

18 September, 2013 (11:15) | Airbnb, Apartments, Formalization, Hotels, Housing, Informality, Markets, New York City, Regulation, Rent stabilization, Rental, Sublets, Theory, US News |

By:David A. Smith   An epidemic of informality is breaking out in New York City, and, as reported in Crains New York (August 19, 2013), the authorities are overwhelmed.  Will they be able to contain the epidemic before all are infected?   Sublets!  We want sublets!   The invaders have opened a portal into the […]

What’s in a place name? Part 2, urban citizenship

24 July, 2012 (09:15) | Cities, Citizenship, Costa Rica, Formalization, Informality, Infrastructure, Mail, Streets, Theory, Urbanization |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   Yesterday’s post reviewing the Wall Street Journal‘s story of San Jose, Costa Rica’s efforts to formalize its system of street addresses had already uncovered the extraordinary efficiency gains to be realized (today one in four letters in Costa Rica goes astray). And even those gains, […]

What’s in a place name? Part 1, efficiency

23 July, 2012 (14:49) | Cities, Citizenship, Costa Rica, Formalization, Informality, Infrastructure, Mail, Streets, Theory, Urbanization |

By:David A. Smith   Where’s that damn mailman, anyway?   Hermits need no addresses because they receive no mail; the rest of us need to be connected to the information grid, and for that, each node needs a unique location, the naming of which can be a transitional moment from tribe to government, as reported […]