Charter cities

This could go in the aural brain candies thread, but really belongs in IP.

The latest Econtalk Podcast features Romer on Charter cities. It’s a very good discussion of the roles of formal and informal rules in promoting innovation and societal success. Touches on aspects of constitution making, special economic zones, norms, impediments to change… All ever so close, yet just removed from, where the political rubber meets the road. Perfect for ‘what if’ armchair theorists, and fans of a certain genre of sci-fi.

Two thumbs way up.

Featured on TED Talks a while back.

Charter cities sound like the good old days of Treaty Ports in China. They make a lot of sense but there would be enormous opposition.

Yeah: Hong Kong, Singapore. Shares much which Thomas Barnett’s Development in a Box approach.

One practical governance issue from the podcast that caught my attention. Romer discusses Stockholm’s approach to congestion pricing for downtown traffic. They hashed it out, implement it along with increased support of public transit for seven months, then went back to the old system. Then the held a referendum on the issue (which passed). Try before you buy governance. Nice.