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Chris Blattman

Chris Blattman is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. Through his blog, Chris explores statistics and cultural trends to examine poverty and political participation. His weekly links capture some of the best content on the web.

The terrible trade-off: Why less violent cities often means more powerful and organized crime

[unable to retrieve full-text content]More than half the world lives in cities, and a lot of those cities (especially those in the Americas) are plagued with homicides and crime. Americans often think this violence is an individual problem: greed, passions, feuds, and hot reactive thinking drive killers. That’s true to an extent. But this view overlooks something important: that, […] The post The terrible trade-off: Why less violent cities often means more powerful and organized...

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0:37Intro. [Recording date: March 24, 2022.]Russ Roberts: Today is March 24th, 2022, and my guest is economist and author, Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago. This is Chris's fourth appearance on EconTalk. He was last here in July of 2017, talking about Chickens, Cash, Development. Our topic for today is his book, Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace. Chris, welcome back to EconTalk.Chris Blattman: Thanks for having me.1:04Russ Roberts: How did this book come about?...

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Tradle, Russian demographic disasters, writing advice, why economics publishing has hit a new low, and other links I liked

[unable to retrieve full-text content]  1. I am loving Tradle (guess the country by its exports–this one took me 5 tries) 2. Clive Thompson’s writing advice: getting a first draft is all about finding ways to trick yourself into avoiding procrastination When I’ve finally convinced myself to sit down and start writing, I write prose by following four rules. […] The post Tradle, Russian demographic disasters, writing advice, why economics publishing has hit a new...

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Conversations With Tyler

What causes war? Many scholars have spent their careers attempting to study the psychology of leaders to understand what incentivizes them to undertake the human and financial costs of conflict, but economist and political scientist Chris Blattman takes a different approach to understanding interstate violence. He returns for his second appearance on Conversations with Tyler to discuss his research into the political and institutional causes of conflict, the topic of his new book ​​Why...

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Lawfare’s Chatter podcast

Millions of hostile rivalries exist between groups worldwide, but their conflicts rarely escalate to protracted violence. Because would-be combatants know that all-out conflict usually proves immensely costly to all sides, they regularly find ways to avoid open warfare. And when it comes to international affairs in particular, we tend to focus on the wars that do occur at the expense of internalizing the core truth that, most of the time, they simply don't happen. Political scientist and...

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Readers: A humble request

If you’ve enjoyed the posts, the links, and the advice columns over the years, I have a request. Those of you who have gotten my book Why We Fight: Reviews are extremely helpful for sales and marketing. Please consider writing one, or even leaving a starred rating without a formal review. The most helpful thing is to post both on the site you bought the book and on Goodreads. After Goodreads, here are links to the book on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and other booksellers with links...

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How much longer can Ukraine and Russia continue to fight, and what are the prospects for escalation versus stalemate?

Dmitri Alperovitch asks how Ukraine will pay for its war if it cannot export in this thread: Let’s talk about the state of the war and one of the most underreported yet crucially important issues: Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports and resulting strangulation of the country’s economy 🧵 — Dmitri Alperovitch (@DAlperovitch) April 30, 2022 The full thread is worth reading but here is the key part: Last week I pointed to Yuriy Gorodnichenko‘s estimate that Ukraine needed about 40-50% of...

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Root of Conflict podcast

What makes conflict win out over compromise? In this episode, we speak with Dr. Chris Blattman, an acclaimed expert on violence and conflict. His recent book, “Why We Fight,” draws on economics, political science, and psychology to examine the root causes of war and the paths to peace.In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the other ongoing conflicts our world faces today, many of us are wondering, is resorting to violence the norm? Are the paths to war easier than...

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