Steven Levitt, king of the populist economists.
Also worth reading is an unfinished paper of Levitt's: Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Seven That Do Not (PDF).
The paper cited in the article, about the economics of drug dealing, An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances (PDF) is also very good. Was it just me or did the article make Levitt seem totally insane as well - like a brilliant but low-functioning human (atrophied muscles, generally being out of it)...
i like steven levitt's fresh approach to things
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