The inter-domain routing scalability issue is a major challenge facing the Internet. Recent wide deployments of multi-homing and traffic engineering urge for solutions to this issue. So far, tunnel-based proposals and compact routing schemes have been suggested. An implicit assumption in the routing community is that structured address labels are crucial for routing scalability. This paper first systematically examines the properties of identifiers and address labels and their functional differences. It develops a simple Internet routing model and shows that a binary relation T defined on the address label set A determines the cardinality of the compact label set L. Furthermore, it is shown that routing schemes based on flat address labels are not scalable. This implies that routing scalability and routing stability are inherently related and must be considered together when a routing scheme is evaluated. Furthermore, a metric is defined to measure the efficiency of the address label coding. Simulations show that given a 3000-autonomous system (AS) topology, the required length of ad- dress labels in compact routing schemes is only 9.12 bits while the required length is 10.64 bits for the Internet protocol (IP) upper bound case. Simulations also show that the Q values of the compact routing and IP routing schemes are 0.80 and 0.95, respectively, for a 3000-AS topology. This indicates that a compact routing scheme with necessary routing stability is desirable. It is also seen that using provider allocated IP addresses in multihomed stub ASs does not significantly reduce the global routing size of an IP routing system.