Abortion/Crime: Where Do Ideas Come From?

Video

It’s always interesting to see where smart people get their ideas. Often, especially in the creative arts, it’s impossible to trace an idea down to its roots. But it’s easier in the social sciences.

I, for one, believe that Steve Levitt has had an awful lot of good research ideas, and it’s good to hear how a particular idea germinated. In our latest Freakonomics video, Levitt talks about the research that led to his most controversial paper, “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,” co-authored by John Donohue. We wrote about this subject at some length in Freakonomics, and there was more than a little bit of blowback. This video is the first of a two- or three-part series.

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  1. mgroves says:

    The video states that the U.S. went from “almost no abortions” to “1 million a year”. But all the pro-abortion crowd would say that there were tons of abortions performed in back alleys.

    First, are there enough back alleys to support this theory?

    Second, how did you measure the amount of abortions before the Supreme Court found abortion in the constitution?

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  2. mgroves says:

    The video states that the U.S. went from “almost no abortions” to “1 million a year”. But all the pro-abortion crowd would say that there were tons of abortions performed in back alleys.

    First, are there enough back alleys to support this theory?

    Second, how did you measure the amount of abortions before the Supreme Court found abortion in the constitution?

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  3. Eric says:

    So the church doesn’t want abortion because….why?

    Is it because murder is immoral?

    Or not aborting produces a populations who are more inclined to criminal activity, which gives them more people to save, while spreading fear amongst the general population and giving a large slice of the rest of the people cause to believe in something greater when bad stuff happens?

    No money, no mission.

    Born & raised a Catholic, go figure…..

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  4. Eric says:

    So the church doesn’t want abortion because….why?

    Is it because murder is immoral?

    Or not aborting produces a populations who are more inclined to criminal activity, which gives them more people to save, while spreading fear amongst the general population and giving a large slice of the rest of the people cause to believe in something greater when bad stuff happens?

    No money, no mission.

    Born & raised a Catholic, go figure…..

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  5. kip says:

    “So the church doesn’t want abortion because….why?”

    Because they feel it is murder. I don’t think there is any church conspiracy to oppose abortion in order to maintain a large number of “sinners” or whatever you are suggesting.

    I would argue that the religious still have a right to oppose abortion, even if it lowers the crime rate. They feel that it is murder, plain and simple, so in their eyes the amount of wrong-doing has not gone down.

    In an extreme example, requiring males from low-income households to be imprisoned from age 17 to 26 might greatly reduce crime, but that would not mean it was right to do so.

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  6. kip says:

    “So the church doesn’t want abortion because….why?”

    Because they feel it is murder. I don’t think there is any church conspiracy to oppose abortion in order to maintain a large number of “sinners” or whatever you are suggesting.

    I would argue that the religious still have a right to oppose abortion, even if it lowers the crime rate. They feel that it is murder, plain and simple, so in their eyes the amount of wrong-doing has not gone down.

    In an extreme example, requiring males from low-income households to be imprisoned from age 17 to 26 might greatly reduce crime, but that would not mean it was right to do so.

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  7. DaveyLoco says:

    I remember the very moment I read about the abortion/crime correlation in Freakonomics. It was both jaw dropping and eye opening. It continued to linger around the back of my mind for weeks.

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  8. DaveyLoco says:

    I remember the very moment I read about the abortion/crime correlation in Freakonomics. It was both jaw dropping and eye opening. It continued to linger around the back of my mind for weeks.

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