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Tag Archives: Crime

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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Canada’s tow truck mafia: A lesson in why criminal governance emerges

Criminal governance emerges to regulate violence and black market business when the state can or does not. Even in Toronto. To understand why there’s so much crime in Canada’s towing industry, we have to back up and look at what many local organizations blame as being part of the problem: the way police call tow trucks to the scene of a wreck, and the lack of industry regulation. When there’s a wreck that requires a vehicle to be towed, the responding police department generally has a policy...

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Defunding the police is the wrong question

How can we get more ‘output,’ and of the right sort, from policing? The question has only taken on greater importance with recent, widely publicized instances of police misconduct; declines in public trust in police; and a rise in gun violence, all disproportionately concentrated in economically disadvantaged communities of color. Research typically focuses on two levers: (1) police resources, and (2) policing strategies or policies, historically focused on crime control but increasingly...

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Defunding the police is the wrong question

How can we get more ‘output,’ and of the right sort, from policing? The question has only taken on greater importance with recent, widely publicized instances of police misconduct; declines in public trust in police; and a rise in gun violence, all disproportionately concentrated in economically disadvantaged communities of color. Research typically focuses on two levers: (1) police resources, and (2) policing strategies or policies, historically focused on crime control but increasingly...

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Gangsters want to be good people too

Alex Tabarrok had a great interview on Ezra Klein’s podcast. A lot of it is on what we learn from Mancur Olson about the current capture of US politics by interest groups. Whether it’s property developers or wealthy homeowners or poor renters or big oil, or whatever—these are groups that would trade off $100 of societal benefits for $1 to themselves. What struck me is how, afterwards, Tabarrok reflected on the moral economy, not the political economy, of this rent-seeking: I was especially...

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“The sloth cartel”

I’d come to Colombia to find a man named Isaac Bedoya, described by the Colombian media as Latin America’s most notorious sloth trader. The country’s wildlife authorities estimate that he and his accomplices captured and sold as many as 10,000 sloths into the pet trade during the three decades before his conviction in 2015. That is Natasha Daly writing in National Geographic on the sloth cartel, with photos by Juan Arredondo. But (as is so often true in so-called organized crime, but seldom...

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U.S. Seeks to Block Bankruptcy Plan That Would Free Sacklers From Opioid Claims

“The Justice Department moved on Thursday to block a bankruptcy plan that grants broad legal immunity to the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, whose drug OxyContin has been at the heart of the nation’s opioid epidemic. William K. Harrington, the U.S. trustee for the Justice Department, filed a motion in federal court to halt confirmation of the settlement while the department appeals the judge’s decision to approve the deal. In writing...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action I’m working on a new email newsletter, with colleagues including Rachel Strohm (who has been a well-respected dev blogger for years). IPA’s tracking studies on COVID related issues in low- and middle-income countries (along with survey instruments and funding opportunities) on our RECOVR research hub (please submit yours, and let colleagues know). Every other week we’re highlighting some new results from there and elsewhere we...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action Medellin, Colombia New results from my colleagues in Colombia with Chris Blattman, David Cerero,  Gustavo Duncan, Sebastian Hernandez, Benjamin Lessing, Juan F. Martínez, Juan Pablo Mesa-Mejía, Helena Montoya, and Santiago Tobón find the sensationalized headlines from early in the COVID days about gangs enforcing quarantine don’t hold up, at least in Medellin, where gangs do provide a lot neighborhood municipal services. Using...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action Professor Lisa Cook explains that black and white inventors put in equivalent numbers of patent applications once in 1899, and never again.  First, a great webinar by Professor Lisa Cook, former economic advisor to President Obama, among many other accomplishments, on how lynchings, violence, and discrimination caused African-American inventions (measured by patent applications) to peak in 1899 and never recover. Here’s the video...

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