Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Economist article describing the size of the informal economy e.g. "4% GDP" in Europe

Bringing light to the grey economy

Mostly this article bemoans the loss of tax revenue and discusses how easy it will be to avoid it in the future, but in passing it hints at the importance of the informal economy -- and this does not include all the unpaid work people do (housework, child caring etc.).

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Will informal value exchange develop in parallel with DIY constrution of items?

There are two movements around of interest:
  • The 'maker' movement of people customising and making their own devices, clothes etc. using the new technologies of 3D printers, computer-controlled lathes, Arduino boards etc. Here plans and expertise is often swapped freely without payment.
  • Alternative currencies and value exchange systems that pass around value without involving traditional money (bitcoin, ripplepay, baby sitting circles etc.)
It will be interesting to see if these two come together in any substantial way. Some makerspaces do have alternative currencies to lower the barriers to the involvement of cash-strapped participants, but that is localised and on a very small scale. Maybe non-traditional value-creation needs a non-traditional value exchange system - it will be interesting to see!