What happens to divorce rates when no-fault divorce laws are passed?
What happens to divorce rates when no-fault divorce laws are passed?
Now that the Supreme Court has freed corporations to expressly advocate for the election or defeat of federal candidates, many pundits feel that is simply beyond the power of Congress to constitutionally curtail the corrosive potential of corporate speech.
It’s legal to give certain things away for free, and illegal to sell them. Sex, for one. A few more of our favorites are inside this post. Can you think of other examples where money doesn’t necessarily make a practice illegal, but at the very least taboo or socially repugnant?
Women in the legal profession with more masculine-sounding names, like Cameron or Kelly, have better odds of becoming judges than women with feminine names, according to a new study by Bentley Coffey and Patrick McLaughlin (gated; abstract here).
I’m troubled by news reports that Antoine Walker was arrested for writing $1,000,000 in bad checks. The ex N.B.A. star — Employee Number 8 — was forced to do a perp walk as he apparently was led out of Harrah’s Tahoe in handcuffs. The criminal complaint alleges that from July 27 to January 19, he wrote 10 separate $100,000 checks with insufficient funds to Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and Red Rock Resort.
Following up on our earlier introductory post about our book on criminal justice and the family, we thought we’d start here with an examination of the same topic that initially sparked our interest in the intersection of criminal justice and the family — namely, how the law treats persons who refuse to cooperate (or actively interfere) with law enforcement on account of trying to protect a family member.
We previously featured some compelling guest posts by the legal scholar Ethan Leib on the subject of friendship and the law. Now he is back, along with his two co-authors on a new book called Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties. This is their first of three posts.
Akhil Amar and I just published an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times suggesting that President Obama might nominate two justices for the Supreme Court: Souter‘s formal letter to Obama indicates that he will step down at the end of this term — presumably late June. But nothing prevents the president from nominating now and the Senate from confirming . . .
A related set of lawsuits involving billions of dollars has provided employment opportunities for a number of consulting economists specializing in antitrust issues or labor economics issues. I’ve been involved in three of the cases, and they have been great fun (and a good way of paying dental bills). I was crestfallen to find out that I am not likely . . .
Photo: Rhett Redelings After writing my last Freakonomics post, I received a phone call from a police officer who began his career in Chicago. Carl, the 54-year-old cop, started working in Chicago’s inner cities at the height of the crack epidemic. He transferred to the suburbs of Seattle for a lifestyle change — “I was tired of getting shot at,” . . .
I recently published a paper on urban gun markets with Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Anthony A. Braga. I was sort of the odd man out. The three researchers have been studying gun use in the United States for many years. I had access to gun sellers, prospective customers, ammunition dealers, and gun brokers who bring purchasers and sellers . . .
In 2006, a Rhode Island jury found three major paint makers liable for the toxic effects of lead paint on children. One of those effects may have been a rise in the crime rate — and the removal of lead from house paint has been linked to the crime drop of the 1990’s (as Levitt blogged about here). Now the . . .
A few days ago, New York’s State Senate passed a bill making it illegal to recruit someone into a street gang. In the never-ending fight by city officials and legislators 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 . . .
Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank is introducing a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana on the federal level. He says existing laws unfairly target legal users of medical marijuana in states like California. We held a Freakonomics quorum late last year to debate the pros and cons of legalizing the drug, and many of you weighed in. With Frank’s legalization . . .
Please welcome our newest guest blogger, the University of Texas economist Daniel Hamermesh. In a long and distinguished career, Dan has written about everything from the economics of suicide to the impact of the “beauty premium.” Because he kept turning up on our blog, including just last week, we thought we’d invite him to come on over and stay awhile. . . .
Adam Liptak has an excellent article in the Times that looks at an example of American exceptionalism: the Bail Bond Dealer. This really is a pariah industry. As Liptak put it: Most of the legal establishment, including the American Bar Association and the National District Attorneys Association, hates the bail bond business, saying it discriminates against poor and middle-class defendants, . . .
The link between cannabis and cancer (Earlier) A scientific approach to tort reform What’s the optimal time of day for a psych test? (Earlier) Does junk food make prisoners more violent? (Earlier) (And earlier)
Read the Column » Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act By Daron Acemoglu and Joshua D. Angrist Prosbol: A Study in Tannaitic Jurisprudence By Solomon Zeitlin Preemptive Habitat Destruction Under the Endangered Species Act By Dean Lueck and Jeffrey Michael Is the Endangered Species Act Endangering Species? By John List, Michael Margolis, Daniel Osgood . . .
California’s environmental policy has made headlines recently, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing that he plans to sue the federal government over its refusal to let the state enact its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and instead adopt a more lax federal plan. While the E.P.A.’s regulation promises to increase fuel efficiency standards by 40 percent come 2020, the . . .
Sometimes a good idea is so obvious that you can’t believe no one has made it happen yet. That would seem to be the case with something called the Impair Aware Alcohol Level Indication System. It’s a machine you can put in a bar or restaurant that lets you measure your blood alcohol level so you know if you’re fit . . .
Here’s another good post from our new guest blogger Ian Ayres; here are some previous Ayres items. My friend and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jack Hitt is irked by EULAs (End User Licensing Agreements). They are the ubiquitous terms and conditions on the Web that no one ever reads. Jack can’t understand why, if he has to accept a seller’s EULA . . .
There’s an interesting article about organ transplantation in today’s Wall Street Journal, by Laura Meckler. It’s primarily about a transplant surgeon named Arthur Matas who has been advocating for the legalization of kidney sales in the U.S. Despite much opposition in the transplant community, Matas has been making headway: Appearing at a January meeting of the American Society of Transplant . . .
Pretend you work at a mid-size advertising agency. Would you rather … 1. Be arrested for minor embezzlement and get fired? 2. Be arrested for prostitution (or, more likely, solicitation thereof) and get fired? Keep in mind that solicitation and embezzlement of under $1,000 are both class A misdemeanors in New York, with prison time of up to a year . . .
A couple of years ago, we wrote a column about crack cocaine, which ended with a discussion of the federal sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder cocaine: This disparity has often been called racist since it disproportionately imprisons blacks. In fact, the law probably made sense at the time, when a gram of crack did have far more devastating social . . .
Devra Davis knows a few things about cancer. The director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the former director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academy of Sciences, she has spent her career researching, documenting, and advising about the disease. In the preface of her new book, . . .
I have a favorite thought exercise: look at an issue that’s important, complex, and interesting — something like healthcare, education, or electoral politics — and pretend that you could rebuild the system from scratch, without the convoluted histories and incentives that currently exist. What would the new system look like? How differently would you think about key issues if there . . .
Students fight for the right to file-share. (Earlier) Headhunters see spike in lies on resumes. Is Craigslist inadvertently prolonging the Iraq war? (Earlier) Why are so many good kidneys going to waste? (Earlier)