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Economics of Crime

Hanyang University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


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.

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

Taught by

Songman Kang


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

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  • Pete Olds completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Pretty basic course, but it has made me much think much more critical about how our politicians approach law and order.

    This was an absolutely great course. Recommended.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

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

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