Steven Levitt 101: The Bestseller Author of Crime Economics
Zatrun Published at March 17, 2024

Steven Levitt is an American economist who is regarded as one of the leading figures in the discipline of crime economics and has a great influence on many social science disciplines. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 29 May 1967, Levitt has been an important reference source in the fields of political economy, sociology, political science, crime economics and law with his studies. He has attracted attention with his studies on crime acts in the USA.

He has also brought a different perspective to the approaches in the discipline with his research on the functioning of the legal system. In 2003, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association, which is given to economists under 40 years old who have done significant works. If you want to learn more about Steven Levitt, you can check out the subheadings in this article on

Steven Levitt

Who is Steven Levitt?

Steven Levitt grew up in Minneapolis, a city in the state of Minnesota in the USA. He decided to study economics and graduated from the prestigious Harvard University in 1989 with a degree in economics. He then went to MIT to do further studies in economics and received his doctorate degree from there in 1994. He continued his postdoctoral research at the Harvard Fellows Society. He served as a junior member in this society for three years. He then joined the academic staff of the University of Chicago and continued his work in the field of economics.

Levitt became famous as a researcher for using creative methods to examine data from different angles. With these studies, he solved several deep-rooted problems in the field of economics by reaching some solutions that were difficult to prove before. For example, in his 1996 paper “The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation”, he proved that there was a direct link between the number of prisons and the crime rate. He also showed that the policies that filled the prisons were much more effective in preventing crime than previously thought.

In another study, Levitt and his friend Sudhir A. Venkatesh studied street gangs and refuted the widespread belief that a few “super predators” committed most youth crimes. The most controversial research Levitt did was that legalizing abortion reduced crime. The main claim of this research was that thanks to abortion, there would be no “unwanted” children who were not cared for enough and that these children would have a lower chance of committing crimes when they grew up.

Steven Levitt

Levitt and His Bestseller Books

Steven Levitt announced his unusual research in the field of economics to more people with his first book “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything”. In this book, Levitt explained the results of his various researches with a fun and non-academic language.

The book was extremely popular because it brought a different perspective to the topics that everyone could be curious about and entered the “Bestseller” list. Steven Levitt continued the Freakonomics series and authored other books as well. These books were also greatly appreciated by the famous economist’s fans.

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