Monday, February 1, 2021

Economics of Violence

EconTalk: Gary Shiffman on the Economics of Violence.

Economist Gary Shiffman of Georgetown University talks about his book, The Economics of Violence, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Shiffman argues that we should view terrorism, insurgency, and crime as being less about ideology and more about personal expression and entrepreneurship. He argues that approaching these problems as economists gives us better tools for fighting them.

His perspective is unique. A one hour interview.


  1. Three thoughts that occurred to me while listening to this interview:

    Which science grounds (lays the foundation for) the science of Economics?

    How do the philosophies that give rise to this type of thinking have their 'economic rug' yanked from under their platform?

    In the 'Economics of Irrationality', the inventors of such snake oil elixirs are usually already dead, hence killing the head honcho is not usually an option.

    ​— this (mafia/cartel angle) plays heavily onto the notion the libertarian view provides about competing governments. Overlapping territories of incommensurable enforcement agencies.

  2. 1. Epistemology focused on human behavior.
    2. Can you be more specific?
    3. The honcho's living followers present options.

    1. 1,2. The fact that epistemology (I was thinking philosophy) was not identified in the presentation stood out to me.

      3. Loosing the death penalty in the machinery of the juggernaut without the proper science firmly at the helm. I understand that self defense does not stoop to attacker's morality. Civilization's defense requires a rational position of moral superiority.

  3. Epistemology practice exists for all people, young and old, from not so smart to genius. I have only read the interview with Shiffman, not his book. Hoards of people don't attain a "philosophical" level of thought. I suspect Shiffman was describing all sorts of people, not just those who are philosophical and introspective.