"A mind stretched to a new idea can never go back to its original dimension"

Archive for September 2007

Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?

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“This chapter offers a detailed glimpse into the economics of a drug-dealing street gang. The authors follow the research efforts of sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, whose years conducting field studies in the housing projects of Chicago granted him unprecedented access to the inner workings of the gang. Venkatesh befriended many of his research subjects, one of whom gave him several years of financial records kept by the gang, which Venkatesh later provided to Levitt.

With extensive analysis of the data, Levitt was able to debunk the common perception that crack dealers are all very wealthy individuals. He found that although a few participants profit mightily from their involvement, these are usually the higher-ups who lead the organization, rather than the large numbers of street dealers who form the lower ranks of the group. Levitt compares the organizational structure of the gang to McDonalds, in which a comparatively few executives and managers prosper from the labor of thousands of low-wage workers. This comparison proved to be particularly apt when he found that most street dealers made less than minimum wage, while also bearing a 1-in-4 risk of death.” (from wikisummaries.org, Freakonomics entry)

Well, it seems like even a thief needs to do some competent work in order to achieve success, dear Watson… :)


Written by flowingly

September 8, 2007 at 10:09