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Publications

From the experts at Giant Oak.

SMART. It's What We Do.

GaryShiffman-1

written by Gary M Shiffman, PhD

How can we understand illicit violence? Can we prevent it?

Building on economic theory, The Economics of Violence begins with the idea that each human is more predictable than we like to believe, and this ability to model human behavior applies equally well to leaders of violent and coercive organizations as it does to each of us.

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EoV_Book
GaryShiffman-1

written by Gary M Shiffman, PhD

Governments have at their disposal many economic instruments to promote national security, such as sanctions, foreign aid, international trade, international finance and laws blocking funds for international terrorism. This book examines the use of theses economic policies and addresses how best to measure their effectiveness.

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EIoSP-1
Jake Shapiro-1

written by Jacob N. Shapiro, Eli Berman, and Joseph H. Felter 

Small Wars, Big Data presents a transformative understanding of these contemporary confrontations and how they should be fought. The authors show that a revolution in the study of conflict — enabled by vast data, rich qualitative evidence, and modern methods—yields new insights into terrorism, civil wars, and foreign interventions. 

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Small Wars Big Data Book
Jake Shapiro-1

written by Jacob N. Shapiro

The Terrorist’s Dilemma is the first book to systematically examine the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured. Employing a broad range of agency theory, historical case studies, and terrorists’ own internal documents, Jacob Shapiro provocatively discusses the core managerial challenges that terrorists face and illustrates how their political goals interact with the operational environment to push them to organize in particular ways.

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TD
0

written by Walter Laqueur and Christopher Wall

An expert on terrorism and an expert on counterterrorism answer the two questions everyone is asking about the rise of terrorism today: why is this happening, and when will it end?

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FoT
GaryShiffman-1

Pricing risk in prostitution: Evidence from online sex ads

 

written by Gregory DeAngelo, Jacob N. Shapiro, Jeffery Borowitz, Michael Cafarella, Christopher Re, and Gary Shiffman

Abstract

The movement of many human interactions to the internet has led to massive volumes of text that contain high-value information about individual choices pertaining to risk and uncertainty. But unlocking these texts’ scientific value is challenging because online texts use slang and obfuscation, particularly so in areas of illicit behavior. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, we extract a range of variables from more than 30 million online ads for real-world sex over four years, data significantly larger than that previously developed. We establish prices in a common numeraire and study the correlates of pricing, focusing on risk. We show that there is a 15-19% price premium for services performed at a location of the buyer’s choosing (outcall). Examining how this premium varies across cities and service venues (i.e. incall vs. outcall) we show that most of the variation in prices is likely driven by supply-side decision making. We decompose the price premium into travel costs (75%) and the remainder that is strongly correlated with local violent crime risk. Finally, we show that sex workers demand compensating differentials for the risk that are on par with the very riskiest legal jobs; an hour spent with clients is valued at roughly $151 for incall services compared to an implied travel cost of $36/hour. These results show that offered prices in the online market for real-world sex are driven by the kinds of rational decision-making common to most pricing decisions and demonstrate the value of applying machine reading technologies to complex online text corpora.

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