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The Gang Tax

…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 more gang members from hanging…



Ask the Gang Guy: Q&A With Sudhir Venkatesh

gang in Chicago for several years. He and the gang met cute, sort of: while administering a door-to-door survey, Venkatesh stumbled upon some junior members of the gang and was…



Episode 64

How Larry Miller Went from Prison Valedictorian to Nike Executive

Climbing the corporate ladder to become head of Nike’s Jordan brand, he kept his teenage murder conviction a secret from employers. Larry talks about living in fear, accepting forgiveness, and…


Episode 48

Do Good Deeds Invite More Bad Ones?

Also: what is the most significant choice you will ever make?…


How to Gang Up on a Gang Scholar

I am of course biased by my respect for Sudhir Venkatesh and his pathbreaking approach to sociology (even more here), but this Times article about him feels more like an…




EXTRA

Extra: Why the Left Had to Steal the Right’s Dark-Money Playbook

The sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh spent years studying crack dealers, sex workers, and the offspring of billionaires. Then he wandered into an even stranger world: social media. He spent the past…


The Truth About Salvadoran Gangs: A Guest Post

…about Salvadoran gangs. It states that gang leaders are now recruiting from the middle classes, exchanging their bandanas for blazers, in an effort to stay ahead of law enforcement. While…



Episode 1

Designed to Tear Us Apart

…off their platforms. What led to that decision? Was it an overreach? And what role did they really play in the events that took place? Sudhir explores how social media…

Is Academia Like a Drug Gang?

In Freakonomics, Dubner and Levitt wrote about how working for a drug gang is like working for McDonald’s. On LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog, Alexandre Afonso writes about how…



Mapping Gang Turf

A new paper from P. Jeffrey Brantingham, an anthropologist at UCLA, uses a mathematical model for hunting to map street gang territory. From the UCLA Pressroom: “The way gangs break…



How to Be Kidnapped By a Gang, Part II

In Freakonomics, we wrote about how Sudhir Venkatesh, at the time a graduate student in sociology, stumbled across a crack gang who promptly held him hostage until they determined he…




Episode 90

How Deep Is the Shadow Economy?

What we know — and don’t know — about the gazillions of dollars that never show up on anyone’s books.

Introducing Sudhir Breaks the Internet

Sudhir Venkatesh, a sociologist who has studied crack gangs, sex workers, and gun runners, suddenly found himself working at Facebook, and later at Twitter. Now he’s back from Silicon Valley…

Episode 295

When Helping Hurts

Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn’t it be even nicer to know what actually works?

Episode 42

The Upside of Quitting (Replay)

You know the saying: A winner never quits and a quitter never wins. To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure?…

Episode 31

Peter Leeson on Why Trial-by-Fire Wasn’t Barbaric and Why Pirates Were Democratic

He’s an economist who studies even weirder things than Steve. They discuss whether economics is the best of the social sciences, and why it’s a good idea to get a…

Episode 42

The Upside of Quitting

You know the saying: a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure?…

Episode 42

The Upside of Quitting (Replay)

You know the saying: a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure?…

DisLocation: A new film by Sudhir Venkatesh

Sudhir Venkatesh, the amazing sociologist who was my co-author on the gangs research that we write about in Freakonomics, has a great new documentary. It will be showing on WTTW,…




When a gang member runs for alderman

With city elections fast approaching in Chicago, I went looking to find out more about the time that the Gangster Disciples, the biggest gang in Chicago, ran a candidate for…



Episode 459

Let’s Be Blunt: Marijuana Is a Boon for Older Workers

The state-by-state rollout of legalized weed has given economists a perfect natural experiment to measure its effects. Here’s what we know so far — and don’t know — about the…

Episode 2

The Garbage Can Model of Decision Making

What’s it like to try and police millions of pieces of abusive content every day? Sudhir takes us inside Facebook, as he and his former colleagues recall how hard it…