Belgium: l’économie de la débrouillardise?

Wired has a short interview with Robert Neuwirth author of Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy which highlights some of the points made in the book (the main point being that combined the informal economy worldwide would be the second largest economy after the US). The interview hints at some fairly interesting observations such as merchant-driven product innovation and multiple layer interfaces between formal economy multinationals and their informal sales forces. Hopefully the book explores these in some more depth.

Midway through the interview wired has placed this map of the world which shows the size of each country’s underground economy, as a percentage of its GDP. While the map is not entirely credible (Iran and Indonesia having informal economies that account for less than 10% of GDP?) the most striking feature (for me) is the color of Belgium…

map of countries by informal economy as percentage of GDP

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