Is the Surge Working? Ask the Data, Not the Politicians

One of the most important political questions of the day is whether the troop surge in Baghdad is working. If you ask politicians, the answer you get to that question is very predictable. Republicans say yes, Democrats say no. What do the data have to say about this question? Michael Greenstone, an M.I.T. professor, good […]

Lead and Crime

Over the weekend, the Washington Post published an article suggesting that much of the decline in crime in the 1990s may have been due to the reduction of childhood lead exposure after the removal of lead from gasoline and house paint. This is an intriguing hypothesis. There is evidence on an individual level that high […]

Are Historically Black Colleges Good for Black Students?

My good friend Roland Fryer has taken as his life’s mission to understand every aspect of the economic life of Blacks in America. His latest research, co-authored with another good friend, Michael Greenstone, tackles the issues of (a) who attends historically Black colleges, and (b) does it help them or hurt them if they do. […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: The Price of Climate Change

The November 5, 2006, Freakonomics column examines the economic implications of a random series of ungovernable events: the weather. This post contains bonus material.