How do economic conditions affect the incidence of child abuse? While researchers have found that poverty and child abuse are linked, there’s been no evidence that downturns increase abuse. A new working paper (PDF; abstract) by economists Jason M. Lindo, Jessamyn Schaller, and Benjamin Hansen “addresses this seeming contradiction.” Here’s the abstract, with a key finding in bold:
Using county-level child abuse data spanning 1996 to 2009 from the California Department of Justice, we estimate the extent to which a county’s reported abuse rate diverges from its trend when its economic conditions diverge from trend, controlling for statewide annual shocks. The results of this analysis indicate that overall measures of economic conditions are not strongly related to rates of abuse. However, focusing on overall measures of economic conditions masks strong opposing effects of economic conditions facing males and females: male layoffs increase rates of abuse whereas female layoffs reduce rates of abuse. These results are consistent with a theoretical framework that builds on family-time-use models and emphasizes differential risks of abuse associated with a child’s time spent with different caregivers.
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Crowded at the Top.” Kai RYSSDAL: Time now for a little Freakonomics Radio. It’s that moment every couple of weeks we talk to Stephen Dubner, the co-author of the books and the blog of the same name. It is “the hidden side of everything.” Dubner, how are […] Read More »
The new car park in Miami is off to a good start, as it is definitively not brutalist, and has been designed and built to higher standards than its 1960s predecessors. It incorporates itself into an already walkable area, making it a success from the start. For this building and indeed any other mixed-use car parks which might be developed in cities worldwide, the lesson to take from the history of this peculiar building typology is that their success is very much dependent on the surrounding urban landscape being suited to accommodate them; much more than other building types, they are sensitive to poor planning.
Increasingly, poor parking arrangements are causing damage to our cities by occupying valuable space and contributing to congestion and pollution. The application of economics that we see in SF Park can mitigate these problems, without substantially changing anything – but wouldn’t it be better to fundamentally change our attitudes to parking, and design better spaces? We have surely learned enough from design’s history to make this a possible, and preferable, path to action.
Amazon has just released its third annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities of America — a ranking based on per-capita “sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format.” Here are the top 5:
1. Alexandria, Va.
2. Knoxville, Tenn.
3. Miami, Fla.
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Running to Do Evil.” [MUSIC: Color Radio, “Towers” (from Architects)] Stephen J. DUBNER: If you are a man, or a boy, and you have a brother, especially an older brother, then you know that the bond between brothers is unlike any other. Sometimes that bond is […] Read More »
Canadian reader Lisa Sansom wrote to us about an interesting price promotion at Starwood hotels:
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We’re celebrating the year you were born. With this special offer for two or three night stays, you’ll receive rates equal to your birth year!
- First night: full rate
- Second or third night: rates equal to your birth year! (If you were born in 1948, you’ll receive your 2nd and 3rd nights at $48!)
- Rates for second and third night stays will be confirmed at check-in upon presentation of valid ID.
- Valid for arrivals Thursday – Saturday
1. How well does government work? Economists call for evaluations.
2. UMass Amherst grad student Thomas Herndon finds coding errors in key debt-load paper by Reinhart and Rogoff.
3. Price dives: gold, cupcakes, and chicken wings.
4. Databases that track employee theft. Read More »