kottke.org posts about sudhirvenkatesh

Very interesting paper on the economics ofJan 21 2008

Very interesting paper on the economics of prostitution by Steven Levitt and Sudhir Venkatesh.

The transaction-level data we collected suggests that street prostitution yields an average wage of $27 per hour. Given the relatively limited hours that active prostitutes work, this generates less than $20,000 annually for a women working year round in prostitution. While the wage of a prostitute is four times greater than the non-prostitution earnings these women report (approximately $7 per hour), there are tremendous risks associated with life as a prostitute. According to our estimates, a woman working as a prostitute would expect an annual average of a dozen incidents of violence and 300 instances of unprotected sex.

The authors also noted that a prostitute was "more likely to have sex with a police officer than to get officially arrested by one". (via marginal revolution)

Sudhir Venkatesh recently sat down with someJan 09 2008

Sudhir Venkatesh recently sat down with some real gang members to watch some episodes of the The Wire.

The greatest uproar occurred when the upstart Marlo challenged the veteran Prop Joe in the co-op meeting. "If Prop Joe had balls, he'd be dead in 24 hours!" Orlando shouted. "But white folks [who write the series] always love to keep these uppity [characters] alive. No way he'd survive in East New York more than a minute!" A series of bets then took place. All told, roughly $8,000 was wagered on the timing of Marlo's death. The bettors asked me -- as the neutral party -- to hold the money. I delicately replied that my piggy bank was filled up already.

(thx, matt)

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