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Skip to 0 minutes and 15 secondsWelcome to Week 3 of the course. So far, we looked at the rational choice model of crime and how it can help us understand the crime trend in the United States over the last few decades. For the next three weeks, we will look at the three main determinants of crime predicted by the rational choice model of crime. They are the probability of punishment, severity of punishment, and other factors related to the gains and costs from committing a crime. This week, we will look at the first factor, and think about how the decision to commit a crime can be influenced by the probability that a criminal will get caught and punished.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsIn particular, our main focus, this week will be to examine research evidence on the effect of police on crime. Police is the institution most closely related to catching criminals, and any criminal who is not caught by police has almost zero chance or being punished. We will examine the extent to which crime can be influence by changes in the police force size and policing strategies. We will also continue our discussion on the empirical methods used by economists to recover a causal relationship from data. Last week, we saw how to run a linear regression based on panel data. This week, you will be introduced to a technique called difference-in-differences.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 secondsAs before, we will talk about the main motivation and strength of this technique and see how we can run it using actual data.

Welcome to Week 3

Can you think of real-life examples in which an increased probability of punishment seems to deter potential criminals? Do they always involve police?

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This video is from the free online course:

Economics of Crime

Hanyang University

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