Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

The Texas legislature seems likely to pass a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus. Having observed enough shootings of professors by students in the U.S. over the past 45 years, I think this is a dreadful idea.

The Decline and Fall of Violence (Ep. 43)

Our latest Freakonomics Radio segment on Marketplace concerns a topic we've been writing about for a long time: violent crime -- and especially why it rises and falls. In this segment, Levitt and I discuss the fact that overall crime and violence are likely at a historic low these days, and not by a little bit either. The conversation builds off the fascinating new book by Steven Pinker called The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

Pinker has just completed a very good Q&A on our blog, and you'll hear him in the Marketplace segment as well. Even though many people are convinced that the world today is more violent than ever (can you say "media effect"?), Pinker lays out the facts of the decline and fall of violence in a way that is hard to dispute:

Fighting Suicide Bombers: What Works?

Efraim Benmelech, Claude Berrebi and Esteban F. Klor have already argued that a bad economy equals deadlier terrorists. Now, the three economists have turned their attention to the effects of house demolitions on terrorism.

The Bigger the Group, the Less Likely Pareto Improvements?

All classes were canceled at the University of Texas one recent Tuesday because of a shooting at the main library. I already had a haircut appointment scheduled for 4 p.m. and suddenly had a lot of free time before then. I called the hairdresser and asked to come by at 2. She was free then. This gave me a preferable work schedule; and, as I had been her last appointment, she got off work early.

Italy's Culinary Paradox

Food is fiction, after all, and there are many advantages to keep telling beautiful stories that brighten our day by enriching our palette. Plus, the moment we might start thinking about the culinary implications of a riot, things can become pretty tasteless.

When Radio Kills

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) broadcast anti-Tutsi propaganda and called for violence against Tutsis, which many experts believe significantly contributed to the violence. An interesting new job-market paper by David Yanagizawa seeks to determine the precise role that RTLM played in the genocide.

Do Jobs Really Cure Violence?

Does giving a man a job stop him from becoming a political insurgent? The generally accepted wisdom is that it does. In fact, the U.S. and other western powers have distributed millions of dollars of foreign aid in the hopes of reducing political violence and instability.

When Football Violence Turns Real

It's well-established that domestic violence is bad for the children directly exposed to it (and possibly their classmates as well) but experts still debate the drivers of family violence. Economists have traditionally characterized violence as a signal to outside parties or as part of an incentive contract between family members.

Looking to Blog Readers for Good Ideas to Reduce Teen Shootings

In the wake of the national publicity that accompanied the beating death of Chicago Public Schools student Derrion Albert, the issue of teen violence has come to the fore.

Violence toward students in the Chicago Public Schools is, however, neither new nor rare.

War Is Over?

The 21st century could represent the end of war as we know it, writes political scientist John Mueller in a new paper for Political Science Quarterly. He notes that there have been no wars between developed nations since 1945, and that other international wars that fit the classic definition — the violent resolution of a […]