This course introduces students to the economic, quantitative analysis of crime and crime control policies. Crime imposes substantial costs to individuals and society, and “fighting crime” ranks high in the policy agenda of most countries. At the same time, strategies for crime prevention are among the most controversially and fiercely debated areas of public policy – including issues related to police violence and racially-biased policing. Starting with Garry Becker’s Nobel Prize-winning work on the rational choice model of crime, economists have contributed to this debate by providing an analytical framework and, most importantly, advanced empirical methods to evaluate different crime prevention policies. The course covers a broad set of topics from this strand of research. It discusses, among other things, the deterrent effect of policing, strategies for “better” policing, the role of peer effects and socialisation on crime (“neighbourhood effects”), as well as topics related to migration. All questions will be approached using state-of-the-art empirical methods that are widely utilised in the quantitative analysis of policy impact.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.