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Abortion/Crime: Where Do Ideas Come From?


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.