The economics of crime

This course introduces students to the economic, quantitative analysis of crime and crime control policies – one of the most controversially and fiercely debated areas of public policy.  The course will (1) provide students with a comprehensive overview on the linkage between different policies and crime; (2) students will become familiar with important quantitative methods to identify causal relationships and (3) they will learn to filter the key message(s) out of dense research papers that use advanced empirical methods. In doing so, we will read and discuss articles on a broad set of topics – including, among others, the impact of policing and imprisonment, the death penalty debate, evidence on gun control policies and the link between alcohol and crime. All topics are approached with state-of-the-art empirical strategies that are widely used in the quantitative analysis of policy impact.