Steven Levitt Quotes

The data don't lie: a Chicago street prostitute is more likely to have sex with a cop than to be arrested by one.

Morality it could be argued represents the way that people would like the world to work wheareas economics represents how it actually does work.

Information is a beacon a cudgel an olive branch a deterrent--all depending on who wields it and how.

The major challenge facing most foundations is that they are risk averse. This inhibits their ability to experiment and commit to the experimentation and innovation process.

If you really accept that global warming puts the world at risk then you think you would be open to any solution that could undo it.

An incentive is a bullet a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation

An expert must be BOLD if he hopes to alchemize his homespun theory into conventional wisdom.

Wall Street is populated by a bunch of people whose primary goal is to make money and the rules are pretty much caveat emptor.

As I see it most major philanthropists have been bullied into giving. They feel social pressure to give. It has become a cost of doing business.

You'd be a fool or a deluded idealist to think ethics would be prominent on Wall Street. That is not a statement against people in the money business just a fact.

People don't like it but inevitably we need to think about both the costs and the benefits of health care. We cannot avoid the financial consequences.

Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you've decided beforehand it can't be done.

As W.C. Fields once said: a thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.

No matter how expert you may be well-designed checklists can improve outcomes.

When people don't pay the true cost of something they tend to consume it inefficiently.

The conventional wisdom is often wrong.

Scarcity is a captivating book overflowing with new ideas fantastic stories and simple suggestions that just might change the way you live.

Purity is a good mask for corruption because it discourages inquiry.

Don't trust just verify.

Data I think is one of the most powerful mechanisms for telling stories. I take a huge pile of data and I try to get it to tell stories.

The key to learning is feedback. It is nearly impossible to learn anything without it.

The gulf between the information we proclaim & the information we know to be true is vast. In other words: we say one thing & do another.

Levitt admits to having the reading interests of a tweener girl the Twilight series and Harry Potter in particular.

The most obvious things are often right there but you don't think about them because you've narrowed your vision.

If you own a gun and have a swimming pool in the yard the swimming pool is almost 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.