Monday, August 08, 2005

The Economics of Crack

Levitt and Dubner, the authors of Freakonomics, on the consumption of crack cocaine:
If so much crack is still being sold and bought, why aren't we hearing about it? Because crack-associated violence has largely disappeared. And it was the violence that made crack most relevant to the middle class. What made the violence go away? Simple economics. Urban street gangs were the main distributors of crack cocaine. In the beginning, demand for their product was phenomenal, and so were the potential profits. Most crack killings, it turns out, were not a result of some crackhead sticking up a grandmother for drug money but rather one crack dealer shooting another -- and perhaps a few bystanders -- in order to gain turf.
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