Congratulations to Paul Romer

Politas Influencer Wins Nobel Prize

paul romer.jpeg

Congratulations to Paul Romer, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in economic sciences! Romer won the Nobel for his pioneering work in endogenous technical change, which sparked a new movement in development economics called new growth theory. That movement measured the impact that technological change and new ideas can have on an economy.

After his groundbreaking work, Paul began a mission to explore how ideas in government and policy impact economic growth. He recognized that good governance and public policy have a much bigger impact on economic growth than anything else and that, unfortunately, good ideas in governance don’t spread as rapidly across the planet as new technology does.

As a proposed solution to this problem, Paul developed the idea of “charter cities,” which aimed to introduce better forms of governance to areas affected by corruption, poverty, and authoritarianism. The conversation around charter cities has since evolved as a way for sovereign countries to test out new laws and experiment with the best ways to govern.

Over the course of 2014, while working at the World Bank, Politas founder Michael Castle Miller met with Paul in New York to discuss Michael’s upcoming publication “The Ciudades Modelo Project.”* Their conversation led Michael to some of Paul’s talented colleagues at NYU’s Marron Institute, who became integral parts of Refugee Cities and Politas – including Brandon Fuller, who serves as the Refugee Cities board chair, and Patrick Lamson-Hall, an urban planner and economic development expert on the Politas team.

Paul’s ideas on how to spread good governance through special jurisdictions are at the heart of what we do at Politas. We’re so thrilled to see his ideas get the recognition they deserve.

To learn more about Paul’s work, follow him on Twitter or visit his website at

*Full info: Michael Castle Miller, The Ciudades Modelo Project: Testing the Legality of Paul Romer’s Charter Cities Concept by Analyzing the Constitutionality of the Honduran Zones for Employment and Economic Development, 22 WILLAMETTE J. INT’L L. & DISP. RESOL. (2015)