The aim of this course is to connect students with the important contributions made by modern economists into understanding crime and delinquency and its consequences, and system responses by criminal justice agencies. A number of important areas are reviewed including: (1) theories used by criminologists and economists to explain crime and delinquency; (2) modern prevention models; (3) specialised techniques used by economists in studying crime and delinquency; and (4) areas of substantive expertise where economists contribute to scholarship and crime and justice policy development. The course begins by introducing the conceptual foundations that underpin the course followed by an introduction into the economics of crime and enforcement. The various theories, perspectives and methods outlined in the early part of the course provide the necessary foundation for investigating topics such as organised crime, illicit drugs and alcohol and prohibition.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- understand how the various theories used by economists and criminologists discussed underpin crime prevention methods;
- explain how specialised economic techniques used to study crime and the criminal justice system can be applied to improve policy decisions;
- demonstrate an understand how theory, case study, history and data developed by and for economists are useful in developing safer communities; and
- explain and demonstrate how economic analysis has been useful in illuminating salient issues of interest to criminologists and government.
- Online exam multiple choice (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Online exam multiple choice (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Take home exam combination of short answer and multiple choice (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Cost-benefit meta-evaluation (2000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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Intensive: 130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of lectures and tutorials taught intensively.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Albertson, K., Fox, C. (2012). Crime and economics: An introduction. Abington, U.K: Routledge.
Indicative additional readings include:
Becker, G. S. (1968). Crime and Punishment: An economic approach. The Journal of Political Economy, 76(2): 169-217.
Becker, G.S., Murphy, K., Grossman, M. (2006). The market for illegal goods: The case of drugs. Journal of Political Economy, 114(1): 38-60.
Cohen, M. (2000). Measuring the costs and benefits of crime and justice Measurement and analysis of crime and justice (pp. 263-316): National Institute of Justice.
Cook, P. J. (1986). The demand and supply of criminal opportunities. Crime and Justice, 7(1): 1-27.
Cook, P. J. (1980). Research in criminal deterrence: Laying the groundwork for the second decade. Crime and Justice, 2: 211-268.
Cook, P.J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S., Braga, A. (2007). Underground gun markets. Economic Journal, 117 (534): 588-618.
Ehrlich, I. (1996). Crime, punishment, and the market for offences. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(1), 43-67.
Nagin, D., & Pogarsky, G. (2003). An experimental investigation of deterrence: Cheating, self-serving bias, and impulsivity. Criminology, 41(1), 167-194.
Reuter, P., & Kleiman, M. (1986). Risks and prices: An economic analysis of drug enforcement. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 7, 289-340.
No prerequisites required
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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