Steven Levitt

The Wall Street Journal has said, "If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt." When Stephen Dubner (co-author of FREAKONOMICS) profiled Levitt in The New York Times Magazine, he was beset by questions, queries, riddles and requests - from General Motors and the New York Yankees to U.S. senators but also from prisoners and parents and a man who sold bagels. A former Tour de France champion called him to ask his help in proving that the current Tour is rife with doping; the Central Intelligence Agency wanted to know how Levitt might use data to catch terrorists. Winner of the highly esteemed John Bates Clark Medal, as the most influential economist in America under the age of 40 (which is frequently a precursor to the Nobel Prize), Dr. Levitt has an enormous curiosity and is set on course by personal experiences and the incongruities he sees in everyday life. He is an intuitionist. He sifts through a pile of data to find a story that no one else has found and devised ways to measure an effect that veteran economists have declared unmeasurable. He has shown other economists just how well their tools can make sense of the real world. [+]