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Episode 384

Abortion and Crime, Revisited

The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their…

Episode 384

Abortion and Crime, Revisited (Update)

As the Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade, we look back at Steve Levitt’s controversial research on an unintended consequence of the 1973 ruling….

Abortion and crime: who should you believe?

…two sets of states (high abortion states and low abortion states) have nearly identical crime patterns. Note, that this is a period before the generations exposed to legalized abortion are…





Abortion and Anti-Poverty in Mexico

…suburbs will have easy access to an abortion. And anyone living in Mexico could travel here for an abortion. The quotes that McKinley provides from opposing sides of the abortion



$500 not to have an abortion?

A Texas State Senator has been ridiculed for his proposal to pay women $500 if they show up at an abortion clinic, elect not to have an abortion, and then…



The Woman Behind New York State's Abortion Law

The Times recently reported the death of Constance E. Cook, a former assemblywoman from upstate New York who co-wrote the measure that legalized abortion in that state in 1970, three…



Portugal’s abortion ban

…any discussion of whether abortion should be legal. It is true that I believe that legalized abortion, by reducing the number of unwanted children, lowers future crime. On the other…





Abortion Not Banned In South Dakota

Is it just me, or does it seem that the failure of the abortion-ban referendum in South Dakota hasn’t gotten much attention? It’s certainly understandable why, what with the Democratic…




Abortion/Crime: Where Do Ideas Come From?

…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…




Does Depression Lower Abortion Rates?

…the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships shows a dramatic decline in Australia’s abortion rate and a rise in its birth rate. Julia Shelley of Deakin University in Melbourne…



Episode 20

John Donohue: “I’m Frequently Called a Treasonous Enemy of the Constitution.”

…legalized abortion on crime. John and Steve talk about guns, the death penalty, the heat they took from their joint research, and why it’s frustratingly difficult to prove truth in…

Episode 53

Why Do Doctors Have to Play Defense?

After the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, doctors in some states are concerned that delivering treatment could put them in legal jeopardy. Bapu Jena looks at how the practice of “defensive…

Steve Sailer asks an excellent question

abortion reduced crime. It isn’t abortion per se that matters, it is the number of unwanted children. Legalization mattered because after abortion became legal the cost (financial, social stigma, availability,…



Bill Bennett and Freakonomics

…to have abortions. This is obviously a completely different situation than abortion as we know it today, in which a woman chooses whether or not to have an abortion now,…



Episode 75

Self-Help for Data Nerds

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz combs through mountains of information to find advice for everyday life….

Episode 90

Peter Singer Isn’t a Saint, But He’s Better Than Steve Levitt

The philosopher known for his rigorous ethics explains why Steve is leading a morally inconsistent life….

Zell Miller is wrong, but he isn’t crazy

…is similar to that of my work with John Donohue on legalized abortion and crime. As discussed in Freakonomics, unwanted children are at increased risk for crime, and legalized abortion



Zell Miller is wrong, but he isn’t crazy

…is similar to that of my work with John Donohue on legalized abortion and crime. As discussed in Freakonomics, unwanted children are at increased risk for crime, and legalized abortion



Episode 46

Misadventures in Baby-Making

We are constantly wowed by new technologies and policies meant to make childbirth better. But beware the unintended consequences.

O’Reilly Transcript

…a million abortions a year, and there were only three million children born each years in this country. And so those abortions were more likely to occur among teenage mothers,…




Episode 104

How Simple Is Too Simple?

Why are humans so eager for magic-bullet solutions? Can you explain how a pen works? And how does Angela feel about being forever branded “the grit lady”?…

‘The Today Show’

…“Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness. Unwantedness leads to high crime. Legalized abortion, therefore, led to lex–less crime.” I mean, you raise a lot of eyebrows with that comment. Is…



Let’s Do the Crime Drop Again

Because the abortion/crime theory put forward by Steve Levitt and John Donohue in this 2001 paper was so jarring, on so many levels, it drew great interest and occasional controversy….