Philip J. Cook

Philip J. Cook

Professor Emeritus of Economics

External Address: 
218 Rubenstein Hall, Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708-0245
Phone: 
(919) 613-7360

Philip J. Cook is ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics and Sociology at Duke University. He served as director and chair of Duke’s Sanford Institute of Public Policy from 1985-89, and again from 1997-99. Cook is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an honorary Fellow in the American Society of Criminology. In 2001 he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cook joined the Duke faculty in 1973 after earning his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice (Criminal Division) and to the U.S. Department of Treasury (Enforcement Division). He has served in a variety of capacities with the National Academy of Sciences, including membership on expert panels dealing with alcohol-abuse prevention, violence, school shootings, underage drinking, the deterrent effect of the death penalty, and proactive policing. He served as vice chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Law and Justice.

Cook's primary focus at the moment is the economics of crime. He is co-director of the NBER Work Group on the Economics of Crime, and co-editor of a NBER volume on crime prevention. Much of his recent research has dealt with the private role in crime prevention. He also has several projects under way in the area of truancy prevention.

Over much of his career, one strand of Cook’s research concerns the prevention of alcohol-related problems through restrictions on alcohol availability. An early article was the first to demonstrate persuasively that alcohol taxes have a direct effect on the death rate of heavy drinkers, and subsequent research demonstrated the moderate efficacy of minimum-purchase-age laws in preventing fatal crashes. Together with Michael J. Moore, he focused on the effects of beer taxes on youthful drinking and the consequences thereof, finding that more restrictive policies result in lower rates of abuse, higher college graduation rates and lower crime rates. His book on the subject is Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control, (Princeton University Press, 2007; 2016 in paper).

A second strand has concerned the costs and consequences of the widespread availability of guns, and what might be done about it. His book (with Jens Ludwig), Gun Violence: The Real Costs (Oxford University Press, 2000), develops and applies a framework for assessing costs that is grounded in economic theory and is quite at odds with the traditional “Cost of Injury” framework. His new book with Kristin A. Goss, The Gun Debate (Oxford University Press 2014) is intended for a general audience seeking an objective assessment of the myriad relevant issues.  He is currently heading up a multi-city investigation of the underground gun market, one product of which is a symposium to be published by the RSF Journal in 2017.

Cook has also co-authored two other books: with Charles Clotfelter on state lotteries (Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America, Harvard University Press, 1989), and with Robert H. Frank on the causes and consequences of the growing inequality of earnings (The Winner-Take-All Society, The Free Press, 1995). The Winner-Take-All Society was named a “Notable Book of the Year, 1995” by the New York Times Book Review.  It has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish, and Korean.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1973

Cook, Philip J., Harold A. Pollack, and Kailey White. “The Last Link: from Gun Acquisition to Criminal Use..” Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 96, no. 5 (October 2019): 784–91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-019-00358-0. Full Text

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “UNDERSTANDING GUN VIOLENCE: PUBLIC HEALTH VS. PUBLIC POLICY.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 38, no. 3 (June 1, 2019): 788–95. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.22141. Full Text

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “RESPONSE TO COUNTERPOINT: VIOLENCE ITSELF IS A ROOT CAUSE OF VIOLENCE.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 38, no. 3 (June 1, 2019): 802–4. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.22142. Full Text

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “The social costs of gun ownership: a reply to Hayo, Neumeier, and Westphal.” Empirical Economics 56, no. 1 (January 15, 2019): 13–22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-018-1497-5. Full Text

Weisburd, D., M. K. Majmundar, H. Aden, A. Braga, J. Bueermann, P. J. Cook, P. A. Goff, et al. “Proactive Policing: a Summary of the Report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” Asian Journal of Criminology, January 1, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11417-019-09284-1. Full Text

Cook, P. J., A. A. Braga, B. S. Turchan, and L. M. Barao. “Why do gun murders have a higher clearance rate than gunshot assaults?.” Criminology and Public Policy 18, no. 3 (January 1, 2019): 525–51. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-9133.12451. Full Text

Cook, Philip J. “Expanding the Public Health Approach to Gun Violence Prevention..” Annals of Internal Medicine 169, no. 10 (November 2018): 723–24. https://doi.org/10.7326/m18-2846. Full Text

Cook, Philip J. “Gun Theft and Crime..” Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 95, no. 3 (June 2018): 305–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-018-0253-7. Full Text

Smucker, Sierra, Rose E. Kerber, and Philip J. Cook. “Suicide and Additional Homicides Associated with Intimate Partner Homicide: North Carolina 2004-2013..” Journal of Urban Health : Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 95, no. 3 (June 2018): 337–43. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-018-0252-8. Full Text

Pages

Cook, P. J., and K. A. Goss. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cook, P. J., S. Machin, O. Marie, and G. Mastrobuoni. Lessons from the Economics of Crime: What Reduces Offending?. MIT Press, 2013.

Cook, P. J., J. Ludwig, and J. McCrary, eds. Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Frank, R. H., and P. J. Cook. The Winner-Take-All Society. Virgin Books, 2010.

Cook, P. J. Paying the Tab: The Economics of Alcohol Policy. Princeton University Press, 2007.

Ludwig, J., and P. J. Cook, eds. Evaluating Gun Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2003.

Mohapatra, A. C. Valuing the river. Vol. 21, 1999.

Pages

Cook, P. J. “The Economics of Crime: An introduction to rational crime analysis by Harold Winter.” Journal of Economic Literature, September 2009.

Cook, P. J. “Can Gun Control Work? by James B. Jacobs.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Wiley, 2004.

Cook, P. J. “Drug War Heresies by Robert J. MacCoun and Peter Reuter.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Wiley, 2002.

Cook, P. J. “What Price Fame? by Tyler Cowen.” Journal of Economic Literature, September 2001.

Cook, P. J. “Reducing Firearm Injury and Death: A public health sourcebook on guns by Trudy Ann Karlson and Stephen W. Hargarten.” The New England Journal of Medicine. Massachusetts Medical Society, February 5, 1998.

Cook, P. J. “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America by Gary Kleck.” The New England Journal of Medicine. Massachusetts Medical Society, February 3, 1994.

Cook, P. J. “Confronting Drunk Driving: Social Policy for Saving Lives by H. Lawrence Ross.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Duke University Press, 1993.

Pages

Cook, P. J. “Criminal incapacitation effects considered in an adaptive choice framework.” In The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending, 202–16, 2017. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315134482. Full Text

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. “Elusive Facts About Guns Violence: Where Good Surveys Go Bad,” 2014.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “The limited impact of the brady act: Evaluation and implications.” In Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, 9781421411118:21–32, 2013.

Swanson, J. W., A. G. Robertson, L. K. Frisman, M. A. Norko, H. J. Lin, M. S. Swartz, and P. J. Cook. “Preventing gun violence involving people with serious mental illness.” In Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, 9781421411118:33–51, 2013.

Cook, P. J., S. Machin, O. Marie, and G. Mastrobuoni. “Crime economics in its fifth decade.” In Lessons from the Economics of Crime: What Reduces Offending? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “Firearm Violence.” In The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199844654.013.0004. Full Text

Cook, P. J. “Robbery.” In The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199844654.013.0005. Full Text

Gottfredson, D. C., P. J. Cook, and C. Na. “Schools and Prevention.” In The Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398823.013.0014. Full Text

Clotfelter, C. T., and P. J. Cook. “Lotteries in the Real World.” In The Economics Of Gambling And National Lotteries, edited by L. V. Williams. Edgar Elgar Publishers, 2012.

Pages

Cook, Philip J., Kenneth Dodge, George Farkas, Roland G. Fryer, Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig, Susan E. Mayer, Harold A. Pollack, and Laurence Steinberg. “The (Surprising) Efficacy of Academic and Behavioral Intervention with Disadvantaged Youth: Results from a Randomized Experiment in Chicago,” January 2014.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. “Economical Crime Control,” November 2010.

Cook, Philip J., Jens Ludwig, and Adam M. Samaha. “Gun Control after Heller: Litigating Against Regulation,” October 2009.

Cook, Philip J. “Assessing Urban Crime and its Control: An Overview,” February 2008.

Cook, Philip J., and Bethany L. Peters. “The Myth of the Drinker's Bonus,” December 2005.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. “Assigning Deviant Youths to Minimize Total Harm,” June 2005.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. “The Effects of Gun Prevalence on Burglary: Deterrence vs Inducement,” May 2002.

Cook, Philip J., and John H. Laub. “After the Epidemic: Recent Trends in Youth Violence in the United States.” University of Chicago Press, January 2002. https://doi.org/10.1086/652218. Full Text

Cook, Philip J., and Michael J. Moore. “Alcohol,” January 1999.

Pages

Cook, Philip J., and James A. Leitzel. “Gun Control,” n.d.

Cook, Philip J., Stephen Machin, Olivier Marie, and Giovanni Mastrobuoni. “Crime Economics in Its Fifth Decade.” In Lessons From the Economics of Crime: What Reduces Offending?, edited by P. J. Cook, S. Machin, O. Marie, and G. Mastrobuoni, 1–16. MIT PRESS, 2013.

Cook, P. J. “Crime: Crime in the city,” 297–327, 2009.

Cook, P. J. “The Social Costs of Drinking.” Oslo, Norway: Norewegian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, 1991.

Cook, P. J. “Discussion (on Martin Bailey's paper on Safety Decisions and Insurance).” In American Economics Association Papers and Proceedings, 300–300, 1978.

Clotfelter, C., and C. Cook, Philip J. “What if the Lottery were Run for Lottery Players?.” Raleigh News and Observer, March 1, 2007. Open Access Copy

Cook, Philip J., and Songman Kang. “Birthdays, Schooling, and Crime: New Evidence on the Dropout-Crime Nexus,” February 2013. Open Access Copy

Cook, P. J. “How we can reduce gun violence?.” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 8, 2013.

Cook, P. J. “Gun Point.” Times of India  Education Times, December 24, 2012.

Cook, P. J. “Craig Whitney's Living With Guns.” New York Times, August 26, 2012.

Cook, P. J. “Commentary: Evidence from a high-income country.” Addiction, 2012.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “More prisoners vs. more crime is the wrong question.” Brookings Policy Brief, December 2011.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “How to cut gun death toll.” Cnn.Com, January 12, 2011.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “Five myths about gun control.” Washington Post, June 13, 2010.

Cook, P. J., and J. Ludwig. “Will wider availability of guns improve public safety? No.” Cq Researcher, October 31, 2008.

Cook, P. J. “OpEd..” The News & Observer (Raleigh), March 1, 2007.

Pages

Selected Grants

Crime Gun Theft awarded by Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Truancy Prevention Project awarded by Department of Education (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

Visiting Scholar Russell Sage Foundation awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

(95-1044) Effects of Policy Changes on Pregnancy Outcomes awarded by (Co-Principal Investigator). 1996 to 1998

(93-0431) The Development of Demand for Intoxicating Substances awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1993 to 1994

(94-0813) The Development of Demand for Intoxicating Substances awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1993 to 1994

(93-0654) Causes and Effects of Youthful Drinking awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1992 to 1994

(91-0842) Causes and Consequences of Youthful Drinking awarded by (Principal Investigator). 1992 to 1993

(88-0016) Graduate Fellowship Support awarded by Department of Education (Principal Investigator). 1987 to 1988