Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Freakonomics

For the first time in nearly a year, I am reading a book. And not even a real estate related book. It does talk about realtors, but it is not directly related to real estate. The book does not follow the traditional lines but instead seeks the underlying reasons for why things happen and not just blindly follow conventional wisdom. And I'm all about not blindly following conventional wisdom :)

Particularly interesting is his link between the drop in crime rate in the early 1990's and the legalization of abortion. An exerpt from from the Washington Post:

"Consider Levitt's notion of a relationship between abortion access and the crime drop. First, Freakonomics shows that although commonly cited factors such as improved policing tactics, more felons kept in prison and the declining popularity of crack account for some of the national reduction in crime that began in about the year 1990, none of these completes the explanation. (New York City and San Diego have enjoyed about the same percentage decrease in crime, for instance, though the former adopted new policing tactics and the latter did not.) What was the significance of the year 1990, Levitt asks? That was about 16 years after Roe v. Wade. Studies consistently show that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by those raised in broken homes or who were unwanted as children. When abortion became legal nationally, Levitt theorizes, births of unwanted children declined; 16 years later crime began to decline, as around age 16 is the point at which many once-innocent boys start their descent into the criminal life. Leavitt's clincher point is that the crime drop commenced approximately five years sooner in Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York and Washington state than it did in the nation as a whole. What do these states have in common? All legalized abortion about five years before Roe."

Here's a review of Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

1 comment:

Darkle said...

If you were blindly following you would be a republican. Independent thinking makes you dangerous.