Economics, Literature and Scepticism

Powered by Blogger.

About Me

My photo
I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Levitt (chanelling Venkatesh) for Ted

Posted by Simon Halliday | Thursday, January 29, 2009 | Category: |

I just watched the TED talk below by Steve Levitt. In it he highlights some of his work with Sudhir Venkatesh (who regularly posts on the Freakonomics blog) about gang membership and the extent to which economic theory and the performance of crack-cocaine selling gangs coincides. Very interesting. HT: Mind Hacks.

Two points that brought it home for me, as a crack-selling foot soldier you have a greater chance of dying than someone on death row. Second, any black teenager living in the area (in their research inner city Chicago) has approximately double the probability of dying that a US soldier in Iraq has.

These statistics make me shudder when thinking what the equivalent probabilities must be for teenagers living on the Cape Flats.

Currently have 0 comments: