How Cops Really Want to Police

Photo: Rhett Redelings After writing my last Freakonomics post, I received a phone call from a police officer who began his career in Chicago. Carl, the 54-year-old cop, started working in Chicago’s inner cities at the height of the crack epidemic. He transferred to the suburbs of Seattle for a lifestyle change — “I was […]

Do It Without Your Gun

I recently published a paper on urban gun markets with Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Anthony A. Braga. I was sort of the odd man out. The three researchers have been studying gun use in the United States for many years. I had access to gun sellers, prospective customers, ammunition dealers, and gun brokers […]

Michael and the $70 Million Problem (Redux)

Michael and I looked over the 500 plus comments and suggestions that were generously offered regarding his upcoming dilemma: How should I give away $70 million? We were joined by his sister, Cathy, who also has a “small sum of money” (her words) that she needs to donate in the coming decade. Apparently, she will […]

What Would You Do With $70 Million?

This is the dilemma faced by Michael, a 31-year-old who will soon inherit a large sum of money. For reasons that the truly wealthy will immediately understand, Michael has been advised to set up a foundation. “I have to donate about $70 million over the next decade,” he laughs. “Or maybe it’s $50 million. I […]

The Gang Tax

A few days ago, New York’s State Senate passed a bill making it illegal to recruit someone into a street gang. In the never-ending fight by city officials and legislators to combat gangs, this is one of the latest efforts to outmaneuver gang members. Other similar initiatives have included: city ordinances that limit two or […]

Your Sex Industry Questions Answered

Dorothy (right) and her daughter Do-Do. Last week Sudhir Venkatesh solicited your questions for Mindy and Dorothy, two of his contacts in the high-end (and low-end) sex worker world. Mindy and Dorothy also had a pop quiz for Freakonomics readers — which you answered enthusiastically (though not all of you passed). Thanks to Mindy and […]

Do High-End Sex Workers Have it Easier?

I have been researching prostitution markets since the mid 1990’s. Much of my work has been in based Chicago, New York, and, more recently, Paris. Steve Levitt and I recently prepared a paper on the low-wage prostitution market in Chicago that received a lot of press. I’m hoping that the final version will provide some […]

What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire? Part Nine

Sudhir Venkatesh, Columbia sociologist and author of “Gang Leader for a Day,” is back once again with his chronicle of watching “The Wire” with a group of gangland acquaintances. His past reports can be found here. I should have seen it coming. But I didn’t. The Thugs informed me that they were not interested in […]

What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire? Part Eight

Sudhir Venkatesh, Columbia sociologist and author of “Gang Leader for a Day,” is back once again for an eighth report after watching “The Wire” with a group of gangland acquaintances. His past reports can be found here. Where is Flavor? Readers of this blog may have noticed the absence of Flavor, the youngest member of […]

What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire? Part Six

Sudhir Venkatesh, Columbia sociologist and author of “Gang Leader for a Day,” is back for a sixth report after watching “The Wire” with a group of gangland acquaintances. His past reports can be found here. I had been waiting for the self-described “Thugs” to analyze the workings of City Hall and the fictional Baltimore Sun […]