Learn how economic analyses can help us better understand crime problems that we face.

6,995 enrolled on this course

Economics of Crime
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours

Learn how economic analyses can help us better understand crime problems.

Crime is one of the most important domestic policy issues for any country, and interest in public safety has only grown stronger in recent years. This course will introduce you to an economic model of crime - exploring policies on crime and motivations for committing crimes all within the context of economics.

Understand the rational choice framework and the choices behind committing crimes

On this course you’ll learn about the key determinants of criminal choice such as motivation, deterrence, and punishment. Under the rational choice framework potential criminals are more likely to participate in illegitimate activities when the expected gains are greater and the expected losses smaller. You’ll see how this framework can be applied in various topics in crime research, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

Learn about criminal policy

We’ll also be examining the policing and punishment strategies related to crime, including learning about recent examples of policy interventions designed to reduce crime.

Explore the impact of economics on crime

Throughout the course we will examine the economics of crime - from looking at the effects of adverse economic conditions and labor markets to discussing the research contributions made by economists in the past several decades. In doing this we hope to develop a better understanding of crime and search for ways to lower criminal risks in our society.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds What makes a person criminal and what can be done to lower crime? Does having more police lower the crime? Should we build more prison and put more criminals behind bars? Will thieves not steal if they have better job opportunities? I’m a Professor Songman Kang, in the College of Economics and Finance at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Economics of Crime addresses these questions by applying economic theory and econometric techniques. In this course we will learn about the contributions made by economists on crime research. Are criminals rational? Do they respond to incentives like a consumer responding to changes in prices? What are the costs of crime and what can be done to lower crime in a cost-effective manner?

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds along the way you will be introduced to a number of examples of empirical studies done by economists. economists are very much interested in recovering a causal relationship. a task which usually requires a clever empirical design and high quality of data. We will see how the availability of Big Data in recent years allowed us to perform many interesting investigations.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds So, please join us for this course on Economics of Crime where we use economics to think about and find a solution to these important questions.

What topics will you cover?

Discuss various determinants of crime, such as poverty, inequality, and low education, and different means of crime deterrence.

  • Rational Choice Model of Crime
  • The Effects of Demographic and Socioeconomic Conditions on Crime
  • The Effect of Police on Crime
  • The Effect of Prison on Crime
  • Importance of Randomized Policy Experiments
  • Linear Regression and Panel Data
  • Difference-in-Differences Analysis
  • Regression Discontinuity Analysis

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss various determinants of crime, such as poverty, inequality, and low education, and different means of crime deterrence.
  • Explore recent examples of policy interventions to reduce crime and learn to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Apply the rational choice model of crime to understand and predict criminal behavior.
  • Design own research projects in which learners identify and investigate an important crime research question using actual data on crimes and criminals.

Who is the course for?

There are no special requirements for studying this course but an interest in economics and crime might be beneficial.

Who will you learn with?

Hello. I am an assistant professor at Hanyang University. (https://sites.google.com/site/songmankang)

Who developed the course?

Hanyang University

Since its establishment in 1939 as South Korea’s first engineering institute, Hanyang University has been a major driving force behind Korea’s development.

  • Established1939
  • LocationSeoul, South Korea
  • World rankingTop 160Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: