Steven Levitt

Steven Levitt has been featured recently in both the NYTimes and Fortune. He's an innovative economist with some creative ways of studying social phenomena using statistics and unique leaps of imagination.
Most of his notable papers are published online, including:

  • An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances

  • Catching Cheating Teachers

  • How Do Markets Function? An Empirical Analysis of Gambling on the National Football League

  • The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime

  • Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?

  • Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling

Unfortunately, most of his papers cost $5 to download. Still, if you're building a business plan for a drug gang, it's a small price to pay for a jump start on your financial model.