Archives for Brazil



Are Brazilian Drug Lords Giving Crack the Boot?

The AP reports that Brazilian drug lords are colluding to get rid of crack cocaine even though it will result in millions of lost dollars. Why? Because crack customers have made their jobs unmanageable:

“Rio was always cocaine and marijuana,” [former police chief Mario Sergio Duarte] said. “If drug traffickers are coming up with this strategy of going back to cocaine and marijuana, it’s not because they suddenly developed an awareness, or because they want to be charitable and help the addicts. It’s just that crack brings them too much trouble to be worth it.”

A lawyer for the gangs confirms this: Read More »



The Strangest Price Discrimination You’ll Ever See?

Adriano Dutra Teixeira, a Brazilian economist, sent us this photo from a restaurant. As he translates:

“Social Responsibility: 50% discount on meal for clients over 70 or bariatric surgery (stomach reduction).”

He adds:

I thought it was hilarious! So I wrote a blog post with a microeconomic approach to the promotion, using price discrimination.

I had to chuckle, in part because we’re finishing up a podcast about commitment devices, in which Levitt offers some bizarre alternatives to bariatric surgery (which we wrote about here), since it is such a drastic commitment. Read More »



When Young People Need the Elevator

An e-mail from Brazil:

My name is Mauricio Castro, I have a social communications degree and teach interface design and multimedia systems.

I have a story I’d like to share with you guys.

I live in a nice neighborhood in the city of Vitória, Brazil. Being close to the beach, the city code forbids tall buildings in order to maintain sunlight in the sand all time. The maximum floor number is three.

So it’s only natural that most buildings here don’t have elevators. Even some new ones are presented only with stairs, especially those built for the younger customers.

So I went to the health clinic the other day and the nurse was telling me about the rising numbers of youngsters suffering from strokes. There are lots of explanations for these numbers rising, but mostly lifestyle and drug abuse.

Read More »



Will Brazil Binge on Oil?

Brazil, a longtime leader in developing alternative energy for its transportation sector and its electricity, has recently discovered a truly gigantic supply of oil under its ocean waters. Read More »



Did Soap Operas Shrink Brazil's Families?

Between 1960 and 2000, Brazil’s fertility rate plummeted from 6.3 to 2.3. The only other country with a comparable decline during that period was China, under its rigid one-child policy. But what was behind the Brazilian fertility plunge? One major factor may have been the influence of soap operas, according to a fascinating new working […] Read More »



What Do Brazil and Washington State Have in Common?

The answer isn’t that surprising in retrospect, but I’d never thought about it until I visited Seattle the other day and saw some statistics assembled by the Washington Policy Center. Here are some hints: 1. It has something to do with a post I wrote about Brazil not long ago. 2. It has something to […] Read More »



A Few Things (Among Many) I Didn’t Know About Brazil

I am flying to Brazil today for a very brief visit. The Wikipedia entry on Brazil is very good, if true, and now I feel a little bit bad about some of the Wikipedia posts I’ve written in the past. Here are a few interesting facts about Brazil that caught my eye: 1. “Major export […] Read More »



Our Brazilian Competition

The latest runaway best-seller in Brazil is the autobiography of a young prostitute, Raquel Pacheco, a.k.a. Bruna the Surfer Girl. The book is called The Sweet Venom of the Scorpion: The Diary of a Call Girl and here’s what Reuters has to say: “In just over a month, it has sold some 30,000 copies and […] Read More »