Jun 08 2009

City-regions that struggle together, gain together

by at 3:28 pm

 Avner Greif’s article, “Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society…” (1994), presents an important look at how cultural beliefs systems have an impact on trade and markets within societies. When looking at the impact of collectivist societies against individualistic societies, Greif notes that cultural beliefs impact social interactions but can have varying effects on wealth distribution (Greif, 19). The horizontal relationships within collectivism are often very beneficial for individuals in small closed regional economies as they provides the informal institutions of protection and feedback loops, but they do little to grow the market for the overall wealth of the people. It can also have devastating results when groups and their cultural beliefs clash with nearby regions. Continue Reading »

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Jun 02 2009

Limited Time Offer!

by at 3:21 pm

Patterns of socio-economic behavior repeat themselves, regardless of the “shocks” to networks that come through political upheaval or environmental hazards. These patterns become subsequently more and more difficult to break, whether they are positive or negative. Consequently, both formal and informal institutions with agendas for development need to be careful how they insert themselves into the fabric of the global environment now, especially because the effects may be – to borrow a phrase from Stride gum’s marketing slogan – “ridiculously long lasting.”

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Jun 01 2009

Restructuring for a Drought Network

by at 2:57 pm

This weekend, I spent a beautiful afternoon in the sun at a local pool. As I looked around at the mass of other people enjoying the same opportunity, I acknowledged how bodies of water connect people in communities and connect countries across the open seas. Yet for many developing countries, how isolating it must be during a drought or a particularly arid season in which crops fail and access to water is limited to the point of serious health risks. Through the lens of a development strategist, utilizing many of Douglass North’s principles, I propose the following plan to counteract some of the network interstices that could potentially reconnect such a community to a public good in times of crisis.

20-acre Chilean pool by fak3r

20-acre Chilean pool by fak3r

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