Book cover of Kidnap: Inside the Ransom Business by Anja Shortlandby Anja Shortland

Kidnap for ransom is a lucrative but tricky business. Millions of people live, travel, and work in areas with significant kidnap risks, yet kidnaps of foreign workers, local VIPs, and tourists are surprisingly rare and the vast majority of abductions are peacefully resolved – often for remarkably low ransoms. In fact, the market for hostages is so well ordered that the crime is insurable. This is a puzzle: ransoming a hostage is the world’s most precarious trade. What would be the “right” price for your loved one – and can you avoid putting others at risk by paying it? What prevents criminals from maltreating hostages? How do you (safely) pay a ransom? And why would kidnappers release a potential future witness after receiving their money?

Interview with the Author

Podcast art of The Jordan Harbinger ShowThe Jordan Harbinger Show 
651: Anja Shortland | How Kidnap Insurance Works
4/14/22          78 min

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Anja Shortland on Kidnap
6/17/19            77 min

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EP19: The economics of kidnapping with Professor Anja Shortland
10/10/21            36 min

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Kidnapping for Ransom with Anja Shortland
2/17/19            48 min

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