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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Roe v. Wade Decision = Lower Crime Rates?
Posted 6:13 PM by Nate
Over the break I had a chance to catch up on some reading. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago Professor and repected young economist, was one of the books I chose. Levitt takes a unique approach by examining everyday life situations and breaking down the statistics. He explains, among a list of interesting topics, why a gun in the home is less dangerous than a pool in the backyard, how real estate agents might not always get you the best deal, why most drug dealers still live at home, and most interestingly, how crime rates in major cities actually shrunk throughout the '90s.

Concerning the crime rates in the '90s (please forgive me for my mediocre summarizing skills), the Roe v. Wade decision was responsible for shrinking the population in the inner cities, which in turn, resulted in a lower amount of children being exposed to the adverse conditions which tend to lead to a life of crime. He explores the numbers in depth and ends up making a convincing argument that the Roe v. Wade decision did eventually lead to a drop in the crime rate of major cities. Trust me, he does a much better job at making this argument.

As a law student, I found it amazing to think of the possibility of the unintended long term effects of judicial decisions. I know we focus on policy concerns in class, but almost 100% of the time we are only thinking in the box of the issue with which we are concerned. I would recommend this book for the simple reason that it demands it's readers to look at the bigger picture. I think some of us forget this from time to time.

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