John Donohue Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

A hidden side of Freakonomics is the extraordinary mesh of collaboration that has grown up around the movement. There is no better example of this collaboration than my colleague and good friend John Donohue, who has coauthored with Levitt (on abortion), Ayres (on guns), and Wolfers (on the death penalty). There is simply no finer […]

What Do Declining Abortion Rates Mean for Crime in the Future?

The abortion rate in the United States is at a thirty year low — though even with the decline, we are still talking about a large number of abortions in absolute terms, or 1.2 million per year. To put this number into perspective, there are about 4 million births per year in the U.S. John […]

Dangerous Ideas

I once had the honor of sharing a meal with Steven Pinker. He was as fun and brilliant in person as he is in his writing. The Chicago Sun-Times recently published a piece by him (which we’ve mentioned before) that’s also the preface to a book entitled “What is Your Dangerous Idea? Today’s Leading Thinkers […]

Does the Death Penalty Really Reduce Crime?

Associated Press reporter Robert Tanner writes an article today stating that evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the death penalty reduces crime. As with most media coverage of controversial issues, there is a paragraph or two in which the other side makes its case. In this instance, the lone voice arguing against the efficacy of […]

Racial Bias In NBA Refereeing?

I’ve blogged before about my friend Justin Wolfers’ research on point shaving in college basketball and the death penalty. Now Justin is back stirring up more controversy with a paper that claims that there is racial bias on the part of NBA referees, written up in the New York Times by Allen Schwarz. The claim […]

Back to the drawing board for our latest critics…and also the Wall Street Journal and (Oops!) the Economist.

Thanks to articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Economist, a working paper by Chris Foote and Chris Goetz that is sharply critical of John Donohue and me has gotten an enormous amount of attention. In that working paper Foote and Goetz criticized the analysis underlying one of the tables in our original article […]

Everything in Freakonomics is wrong!

Or at least that is the impression you might get if you read this article in today’s Wall Street Journal. I will post a longer blog entry once I have had time to fully digest the working paper by Foote and Goetz which is the basis for the article. For now, I will say just […]