Steven D. Levitt


Department of Economics

University of Chicago

1126 East 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637

W: (773) 834-1862

F:(708) 366-2388





Professor, University of Chicago Department of Economics (June 1999-present)


Associate Professor, University of Chicago Department of Economics (August 1998-May 1999)


          Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Department of Economics

(July 1997-July 1998)


                   Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows

                   (July 1994-June 1997)


Management Consultant, Corporate Decisions, Inc.

                   (August 1989-July 1991)






                   Ph.D., Economics, 1994

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (1992-94)


                   HARVARD UNIVERSITY

                   B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Economics, 1989

Phi Beta Kappa (1989)

          Young prize for best undergraduate thesis in economics



Editor, Journal of Political Economy (August 1999-present)

Associate Editor, Quarterly Journal of Economics (1998-1999)





Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation (July 1997-present)

National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Enginneers (February 2000)

Faculty Appreciation Award from the graduate students in the University of Chicago Department of Economics (April 2000)

Duncan Black Prize (given annually to the paper published in Public Choice judged to be most outstanding), for a paper written jointly with James Poterba (April 2000)

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (May 1999)

National Science Foundation CAREER Award (April 1999)

National Fellow, Harvard University Program in Inequality and Social Policy (September 1998-present)

Quantrell Award (recognizing outstanding undergraduate teaching at the University of Chicago, May 1998)

Review of Economic Studies European Tour, Presenter (May 1997)

                   John M. Olin Research Fellow in Law and Economics, Harvard Law School (July 1995-June 1997)

                   Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research (October 1994-Present)





“Legalized Abortion as an Explanation for the Decline in Crime.”  Forthcoming, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2001. (with John Donohue)


“How Dangerous are Drinking Drivers?” Forthcoming, Journal of Political Economy, 2001. (with Jack Porter)


“Sample Selection and the Measurement of Seat Belt and Air Bag Effectiveness.”  Forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics, 2001.  (with Jack Porter).


“Alternative Strategies for Identifying the Link between Unemployment and Crime,” Forthcoming, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 2001.


“An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang’s Finances.”  Quarterly Journal of Economics 115 (August 2000): 755-789. (with Sudhir Venkatesh).

“‘The Political Economy of an American Street Gang.”  Theory and Society, 29 (Volume 3, 2000): 427-462. (with Sudhir Venkatesh)




“Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation.” Journal of Law and Economics 42 (April 1999): 343-63. (with Daniel Kessler).


“The Exaggerated Role of Changing Age Structure in Explaining Aggregate Crime Changes.”   Criminology 37 (August 1999): 581-599.


"Comparing Interest Group Scores across Time and Chambers: Adjusted ADA Scores for the U.S. Congress,”American Political Science Review  93 (March 1999): 33-50. (with Tim Groseclose and James Snyder)


"Congressional Delegation Seniority and State Economic Performance."  Public Choice 99 (April 1999): 185-216. (with James M. Poterba)


"Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities."  Review of Economics and Statistics 81 (May 1999): 159-169. (with Julie Berry Cullen)


“Juvenile Crime and Punishment.”  1998.  Journal of Political Economy 106 (December): 1156-1185


“Guns, Violence, and the Efficiency of Illegal Markets.”  1998.  AEA Papers and Proceedings 88 (May): 463-467. (with John Donohue)


“Measuring the Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack.” 1998.  Quarterly Journal of Economics 113(1): 43-77. (with Ian Ayres)


"Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?"  1998.  Economic Inquiry 36(3):353-372.


"The Response of Crime Reporting Behavior to Changes in the Size of the Police Force: Implications for Studies of Police Effectiveness using Reported Crime Data."  1998.  Journal of Quantitative Criminology 14 (February): 62-81.


"Who are PACs trying to Influence with Contributions: Politicians or Voters?"  1998. Economics and Politics 10(1): 19-36.


“The Hazards of Moral Hazard: Comment on Guff, Shughart, and Tollison.” 1998.  Economic  Inquiry 36(October):685-687.


"Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime."  1997.  American Economic Review, 87(3):270-290.


"The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes."  1997. Journal of Political Economy, 105:30-53. (with James M. Snyder).


                   PUBLICATIONS IN REFEREED JOURNALS (continued)


"Is No News Bad News? Information Transmission and the Role of 'Early Warning' in the Principal-Agent Model." 1997. RAND Journal of Economics 28(4):641-661. (with Christopher Snyder).


"Private Information as an Explanation for the Use of Jail Sentences Instead of Fines."  1997. International Review of Law and Economics, 17(2):179-192.


"Decomposing the Sources of Incumbency Advantage in the U.S. House." 1997.  Legislative Studies Quarterly 22:45-60.  (with Catherine D. Wolfram)


"The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation." 1996. Quarterly Journal of Economics 111:319-352.


"How Do Senators Vote?  Disentangling the Role of Party Affiliation, Voter Preferences, and Senator Ideology." 1996. American Economic Review 86:425-441.


"Political Parties and the Distribution of Federal Outlays." 1995.  American Journal of Political Science 39:958-980. (with James M. Snyder).


"Optimal Incentive Schemes when Only the 'Best' Agent's Output Matters to the Principal."  1995.  Rand Journal of Economics 26:744-760.


"Congressional Campaign Finance Reform."  1995.  Journal of Economic Perspectives 9:183-193.


"Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House." 1994.  Journal of Political Economy 102:777-798.


"An Empirical Test of Competing Explanations for the Midterm Gap in the U.S. House."  1994.  Economics and Politics 6:25-38.





“Deterrence.”  Forthcoming, 2001, in Crime, edited by James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia.  San Francisco: ICS press.


“Understanding Colombia’s Crime Situation and the Institutional Reforms Required to Alleviate the Problem.”  For a volume edited by Alberto Alesina,  2000. (with Mauricio Rubio)


“The Determinants of Juvenile Crime.” Forthcoming, NBER volume on Risky Behavior by Youths, edited by Jonathan Gruber, 2000. (with Lance Lochner)


“Aging in an American Street Gang: Toward a Life-Course Perspective on Gang Involvement.” 2000. Forthcoming, American Bar Foundation. (with Sudhir Venkatesh)


“The Economics of Inmate Labor Participation.” 1999.


“The Changing Relationship between Income and Crime Victimization.”  Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review, 5 (September 1999): 87-98.


“A Skeptical but Sympathetic Appraisal of the Prospects for Nurturant Crime-Control Policies.”  1997.   Politics and the Life Sciences, 16:34-36.





“The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools.” 2000.  NBER working paper 7888. (with Julie Cullen and Brian Jacob).


“Winning isn’t Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling.” 2000. NBER working paper 7798. (with Mark Duggan).


“A Test of Mixed Strategy Equilibria: Penalty Kicks in Soccer.”  2000.  (with Pierre-Andre Chiappori and Timothy Groseclose).


“Testing the Economic Model of Crime: The National Hockey League’s Two-Referee Experiment.” 2000.


“Prison Death Rates, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence.” 1999. (with Lawrence Katz and Ellen Shustorovich).


“The Impact of Race on Policing, Arrest Patterns, and Crime.”  1998.  NBER Working Paper, No. 6784.  (with John Donohue). (Revision submitted to Journal of Law and Economics)

"Labor Mobility, Spillovers, and the Inefficiency of Local Public Good Provision."  1994.