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Systems Science Seminar: Jess Laventall "It's the System: Crack Dealing and Systems Dynamics"
Friday, May 1, 2009 - 12:00pm to Friday, May 1, 2009 - 1:00pm


Harder House, Room 104

12-1 pm

Jess Laventall

It's the System: Crack Dealing and Systems Dynamics

Crack dealing gangs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about systems dynamics. Yet, that is exactly what is described in Levitt and Dubner’s best-selling book, Freakonomics. These two economists devote a chapter to explaining why drug dealers still live with their mothers. Based on the study they reference, original research conducted by their colleague Sudhir Venkatesh, who actually infiltrated a notorious drug gang to collect data over a four year period, we find some revealing facts that inform and make apparent the behaviors of a dynamic system a drug gang operated under given the conditions described.
This presentation provides an overview of a systems dynamics approach to how a crack dealing drug gang operated in an inner-city environment. A model was constructed to explore the interaction effects of gang violence, finances and member recruitment. The volatility of the situation these gangs faced in their environment offers and excellent observable system.

Jess Laventall is a graduate certificate student in the Systems Science Department at Portland State University. He is co-founder of American Choice Modeling, an advanced market modeling and simulation firm. His background includes a wide variety of quantitative approaches to marketing and marketing research.

<Web-based remote access seminar>
We will use Adobe Connect for web-based remote access seminar.
Here is the URL that people should use to participate remotely:

- Enter as a Guest: Type your name and enter the room
- What you can do:
1) Remote participants will hear the speaker and questions from the audience.
2) Remote participants will see the speakers and his/her presentation slides.
3) Remote participants can join the discussion by typing or speaking (if remote participants' mic is available)