Saturday, November 12, 2005

New York City's Dog-Doo-Dilemma



Economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, authors of the bestseller Freakonomics, propose a fix for New York City's dog poop problem in their latest New York Times Magazine column:

Freakonomics article

1. Unscooped dog poop is a negative externality--why?

2. How do "social incentives" explain why most people pick up after their canines?

3. How does the column compare dog poop to gun crime? According to the authors, what types of measures effectively reduce gun crime?

4. How do the authors propose to deal with those who offend the poop scoop social code? (Notice the role that technology plays in both NYC's horse manure crisis in the late 1800s and its current dog-doo-dilemma.)

5. According to the authors, what should the city do to ensure that every NYC dog is licensed?

By Brandon Fuller

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