Cities, Crime, Economics

From BBC: Where Immigrant Dollars Go and How Aid Compares, 2006

This is an occasional series in political economy: video lectures and book reviews, mostly about international economics. Not every political economy post I have written will be included on this page. You can check my sidebar for Every Article on P.E. I have posted.

I have a Masters degree in Diplomacy/Conflict Resolution. In truth, I studied States versus Markets, starting with the work of Susan Strange, a brilliant London economist. In my opinion, and straight from her work:

 Most states are losing power to international markets. 

We see this in the dearth of manufacturing start-ups, the various financial crises, the rise of crime, and the inability of cities to pay for the services they have promised to their citizens. National governments do better against international markets, but even they have increasing difficulty in surviving the swings of fortune and  market turbulence.

It's time to look at growing our own development in the same way that we look at growing foreign development. It's time to view our faults and fissures through an economic lens, to see if we can break the political stalemate.

For those who do not find world economics as relevant as local crime or our nation's president:
  • Immigration is a response to a world market for legal and illegal labor.
  • Brand counterfeiting happens past the authority of national patent protection.
  • World sea piracy is affecting the price of every thing you buy, because it affects world shipping.
  • The international market for drugs is affecting every city in America and ruining the governments of our national neighbors down South.
  • The international drug market affects the fortunes of every soldier we have in Afghanistan.
  • The international market for weapons, explosives, and arms is creating a means for drugs and terrorism all over the world.
  • Civil war teaches entire populations how to wage war, make bombs, and sneak past security.
In some cases, we need to be aware of a threat beyond our borders. In others, we can look at international solutions and perhaps find a way for some of our domestic ills.

Steve Levitt,
University of Chicago
Add all these together, and get interested in international markets. You may not agree with every lecture or book in this series (nor will I) , but it may just get help you strategize a solution for your household, your city, or your profession. We do have the power to help ourselves.

Steven Levitt on Gang Economics  
(posted July 20, 2010)

Paul Collier, Oxford University
Paul Collier on the Economic Causes of Civil Conflict (and Crime)
(posted August 3-4, 2010)
Part 1: International Civil Confict
Part 2: Domestic Applications (my take)
Paul Collier on The Bottom Billion and The Plundered Planet

Sudhir Ventakesh on Gang Economics

1. Cities, Crime, and Detente: the local government vs. the Real local government (posted December 7, 2010).


Jeffrey Sachs
The late Susan Strange,
London School of Economics
Susan Strange