Sudhir Venkatesh Responds to the Freakonomics Community

Dear Freakonomics readers,

A profile of me and my work appeared in the N.Y. Times yesterday. There were two story angles: how I conduct my research and allegations of questionable financial dealings in which I was involved. I wrote a formal statement to the Columbia University student paper and online blog, but you are also my community, so let me address you directly.

Three years ago, at my request, I began working with Columbia University on an internal initiative to develop greater clarity and transparency of an institute that they had asked me to direct. Together, we systematically reviewed grants management and research procedures as we sought to establish new, higher standards of reporting and accountability. Part of that review included the grants managed by my position. An audit was conducted, it was completed, and ethically I felt it was my responsibility to pay back $13,000 in previously reimbursed expenses for which my own recordkeeping did not meet these new standards. That matter is closed, and has been for over two years.

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 oppo dump than reportage. Venkatesh is a low-key guy so I don't envision him squawking back at the Times but he did respond here

(HT: @ChrisLHayes)

Introducing "AI: Adventures in Ideas," a New Blog Series from Sudhir Venkatesh. Episode 1: Going Solo

This is the first installment of a new feature from Sudhir Venkatesh.  Each AI: Adventures in Ideas post will showcase new research, writing, or ideas.

A new book is garnering significant attention. In Going Solo, Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, looks at a growing trend in contemporary adulthood: living alone. How we live, Klinenberg argues, is shifting, and it could be one of the most important developments of the last half-century.

Quitting Time

No one wants to be called a quitter. And absolutely no one wants to be the guy who tells other people to quit … except maybe Stephen Dubner. Today on Marketplace, Dubner explains the virtues of quitting to Tess Vigeland, making the case that people don’t quit enough.

SuperFreakonomics Book Club: Sudhir Venkatesh Answers Your Prostitution Questions

Last week we opened up the questioning for Sudhir Venkatesh, the sociologist whose fieldwork on street prostitutes in Chicago is the foundation of a long section of our first chapter. Here are his replies. Thanks to Sudhir and all of you for participating.

SuperFreakonomics Book Club: Ask Sudhir Venkatesh About Street Prostitution

In the first installment of our virtual book club, Emily Oster answered your questions about her research (co-authored with Rob Jensen) which argues that the lives of rural women in India improved on several dimensions thanks to the widespread adoption of television.

That story appeared in our book's introduction. Now we're moving on to Chapter One. We will probably feature a few Q&A's with the subjects and researchers featured in this chapter, which is described in the Table of Contents like this:

Venkatesh Profiled in Forbes

Here is a nice profile of Sudhir Venkatesh, who is a co-author, friend, and Freakonomics blogger.

Got Clawbacks? Thugz on the Bailout

Dear Secretary Geithner, I’ve been out of touch. Sorry. I spent the last month on grand jury duty, putting Manhattan’s poor minorities behind bars. I needed a little time to recover. As promised, this is the first in a series of friendly dispatches. Advice, if you will. Learned counsel. Wisdom from the streets (as opposed […]

A Letter From the Thugz

Dear Mr. Geithner, I have been on jury duty recently. Nevertheless, I have been observing your first few weeks in office. I figured you could use a little help. I, personally, don’t have the expertise, so I thought I’d lean on a few acquaintances who have weathered several economic storms. What’s that? You say you […]

The Market is Dead! Long Live the Market!

Sudhir Venkatesh‘s book “Gang Leader for a Day,” originally published last January, is now out in paperback. You can read reviews of it here, here, and here; and The Economist named it a book of the year. Robert Rosenkranz has proposed means of financial market regulation. His Wall Street Journal op-ed offers redress for the […]