Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rediff special on the Indian grad student from 'Freakonomics'

Rediff has an interview with the guy who did the research for the first essay in Steven Levitt's 'Freakonomics'.

Link
Comments:
Interesting article. Being someone from Orange County, I definitely empathize with Prof. Venkatesh's notion of "outsiderness."

I've also done research on the informal economy. Remarkably it actually holds up urban neighborhoods. The cash economy in "ghettos" in the end provides jobs, wages, and support for families who are sometimes publicly demonized as social burden.

In reality, the hidden economies in urban "ghettos" can present huge opportunities for corporate businesses, as studies by Social Compact have shown. With Social Compact's work in the same neighborhoods mentioned in the article (Harlem, Chicago, - I did Oakland for them) companies such as Home Depot and BofA have made huge profits by identifying untapped, uncharted markets...all while giving back to these communities with jobs, contributions to social programs, and other community re-investments.

But in reality, it's no secret. Local "underground" economies are running right in your back yard. The guy that mows your lawn, your babysitter, the guy who tutors your kids...to the mom 'n pop shop at the end of block. That's the heart of America, and Social Compact can quantify it for you...with some nice maps too. Check 'em out - http://www.socialcompact.org
 
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