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Philip J. Cook

ITT/ Terry Sanford Professor Emeritus of Public Policy Studies, Duke University
Chapter Member: North Carolina SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Philip

Cook is an economist who has long-standing research programs in violence prevention (with a particular focus on firearms); criminal justice policy and crime prevention; alcohol control policy (including taxation); evaluation methods; and various aspects of education policy.


How to Break America's Logjam on Guns and Gun Violence

  • Kristin Anne Goss

How Best to Encourage Organ Donation

  • Kimberly D. Krawiec

Why Stand Your Ground Laws are Dangerous

In the News

Research discussed by Emily Stewart, in "One Way to Reduce Gun Deaths: Restrict Big Bullets and Guns," Vox, July 28, 2018.
Research discussed by Christopher Ingraham, in "Actually, Guns Do Kill People, According to a New Study," The Washington Post, July 27, 2018.
Research discussed by The Foundation for Economic Education, in "If NFL Players Can Get Paid, so Should Kidney Donors," Value Walk, May 7, 2018.
Research discussed by "Are Weapons Used in Crimes Essentially Stolen?," Israel’s Homeland Security, April 30, 2018.
Quoted by Elizabeth Hawkins in "What Happens to Stolen Guns?," EurekAlert!, April 25, 2018.
Quoted by Sam Kim in "A Look at Past and Proposed Gun Legislation Efforts in North Carolina," The Chronicle, March 13, 2018.
Quoted by Jonathan Edwards in "Norfolk Police Seized More Guns Last Year than They Have in Almost a Decade," The Virginian-Pilot, February 27, 2018.
Quoted by Allison Graves, Louis Jacobson in "Bernie Sanders Repeats False Claim about Gun Sales without Background Checks," PolitiFact Florida, February 20, 2018.
Opinion: "Why Ban Payment to Kidney Donors, but Not Football Players?," Philip J. Cook (with Kimberly D. Krawiec), Herald-Sun, February 2, 2018.
Interviewed in "How Do Criminals Get Their Guns?," Ways and Means Podcast, January 30, 2018.
Guest on Science Magazine Podcast, December 8, 2017.
Research discussed by Claire Ballentine, in "Duke Research Tackles Underground Gun Market, Curbing Murder Rate," The Chronicle, November 19, 2017.
Quoted by Danielle Kurtzleben in "Is Chicago Proof that Gun Laws Don't Work?," National Public Radio, October 5, 2017.
Research discussed by Karen Kemp, in "Study Debunks Claim of Greatly Improved Survival Rate for Gunshot Victims," Duke Today, June 22, 2017.
Guest on Zeroing In, October 27, 2016.
Quoted by Neelesh Moorthy in "Duke Researchers Skeptical about Gun Control Changes," Duke Chronicle, January 14, 2016.
Opinion: "How Dangerous People Get Their Guns," Philip J. Cook, The Conversation, January 5, 2016.
Quoted by Sabrina Tavernise in "In Missouri, Fewer Gun Restrictions and More Gun Killings," New York Times, December 21, 2015.
Quoted by Erik Eckholm in "Rampage Killings Linger in Memory, but Toll of Gun Violence is Constant," New York Times, October 8, 2015.
Interviewed in "‘I Got Nobody’: Scholars of Gun Violence Describe Their Lonely Battles," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2015.
Quoted by Christopher Ingraham in "Our Booze is Too Cheap and It’s Literally Killing Us," The Washington Post, April 2, 2015.
Opinion: "The Best Way to Respect Guns," Philip J. Cook (with Kristin Goss), CNN, January 23, 2015.
Quoted by Avalon Zoppo in "Duke Professor Supports ‘Smart Guns’," The Daily Targum, November 13, 2014.
Guest on All In with Chris Hayes, September 30, 2014.
Interviewed in "Why Law Enforcement was Powerless to Step Elliot Rodger from Buying Guns," The Washington Post, May 29, 2014.
Opinion: "In School Rampages, the Weapon Matters," Philip J. Cook (with Kristin Goss), CNN, April 11, 2014.
Research discussed by Dylan Matthews, in "The Deadly Consequences of a Cut in the Beer Tax," The Washington Post, May 10, 2013.
Research discussed by Carl Bialik, in "Guns Present Polling Conundrum," Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2013.
Research discussed by Brad Plummer, in "The Economics of Gun Control," The Washington Post, December 28, 2012.
Research discussed by Dawn House, in "Privatization, Prices Debated at Utah Alcohol Summit," The Salt Lake Tribune, September 6, 2012.
Opinion: "More Prisoners vs. More Crime is the Wrong Question," Philip J. Cook (with Jens Ludwig), Brookings Policy Brief no. 185, December 1, 2011.
Opinion: "How to Cut Gun Death Toll," Philip J. Cook (with Jens Ludwig), CNN, January 12, 2011.
Opinion: "Five Myths about Gun Control," Philip J. Cook (with Jens Ludwig), The Washington Post, June 13, 2010.


"The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know" (with Kristin Goss) (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Probes the causes and consequences of gun violence and traces the history of clashing social movements pushing for gun rights and the enactment of legal gun controls.
"Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs" (with Jens Ludwig and Justin McCrary) (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
Evaluates the potential effects on crime of a variety of criminal justice reforms, social policies, and private action.
"Paying the Tab " (Princeton University Press, 2007).
Takes a comprehensive look at alcohol control policy in the United States, including the history, current practice, and evaluation of the alternative approaches.
"Gun Control," (with Anthony A. Braga and Mark H. Moore), Social Science Research Network, November 30, 2000.
Provides a foundation for understanding the "Great American Gun War," and for considering the next steps that could be taken in the search for an effective gun-control policy.
"Gun Violence: The Real Costs" (with Jens Ludwig) (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Discusses and analyzes the burden that gun violence imposes on society.
"The Winner-Take-All Society" (with Robert H. Frank) (The Free Press, 1995).
Develops an explanation for the growing inequality of income in terms of changing technology and institutional arrangements.
"Selling Hope " (with Charles Clotfelter) (Harvard University Press, 1991).
Provides a comprehensive description and analysis of state lotteries in America.