20687 - ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CRIME
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza
Students of all study programs are welcome to this class. The approach is quantitative, so a good knowledge of statistics and econometrics from introductory courses is recommended.
The course introduces students to the economic analysis of crime. The analysis is based on the choice-theoretic model of crime. The empirical approach mainly focuses on causal relationships. The methods covered allow students to address questions that are relevant from a social and political perspective: Do longer prison sentences deter crimes? What are the economic costs of organized crime? Do the police and the judicial system discriminate against minorities? What are the effects of immigration on crime? How can we detect and curb corruption? These are just examples of the type of questions that motivate this course. At the end of the course, students are able to go through the multiple stages of a research project on these topics.
- Challenges to the empirical analysis of crime
- Measuring the unmeasurable
- Correlation vs. causation
- Experiments and quasi-experiments
- The rational-choice model of crime
- The evidence on the economic model of crime: Probability of arrest
- The effects of police presence
- Racial discrimination in policing
- Predictive policing
- The evidence on the economic model of crime: Punishments
- Deterrence and incapacitation effects of prison
- Death penalty
- Open prisons and electronic monitoring
- The evidence on the economic model of crime: Legitimate income opportunities
- Labor market opportunities
- Immigration and crime
- Perceptions and reality
- The effect of legal status on immigrants' propensity to commit crimes
- Organized crime
- Economic effects
- Political effects
- Drug policy
- Effects in destination countries: The opioid epidemics in the US
- Effects in origin countries: Drug wars in Mexico
- Miscellaneous topics
- The "More guns, less crime" hypothesis
- Abortion and crime
- Understand research papers on crime-related issues.
- Identify interesting research questions in the same field.
- Develop and illustrate a research project.
- Intepret previous evidence on the causes and consequences of crime.
- Evaluate the impact of anti-crime policies.
- Develop research projects in this field.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Group assignments
- Guest speaker's talks (in class) by policy makers and practitioners involved in anti-crime policies.
- Group assignments: preparation and presentation of a research proposal.
The final grade is based on written final exam and group presentations. Groups consisting of 3-4 students would be formed at the beginning of the course. Each group:
- Discuss a paper among those included in the reference list.
- Present a research project proposal at the end of the course.
The final grade is determined as the maximum between:
- The grade obtained in the final written exam; the weighted average of the final written exam (50%), the grade in the paper discussion (10%), and the presentation of the group project (40%).
- Using this rule, problem sets and group presentations provide an insurance against having a bad day on the exam day.
The final grade is just the grade received in the final exam.
There is no textbook for this course but a list of paper is provided at the beginning of the course. All the material relevant for the final exam is covered in the slides used in class, which are posted on Bboard. Slides and your own notes should be your main reference, for this reason attendance in class is strongly recommended.