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The Economics of Crime (Module)

Module description

This course uses economics to understand crime. It examines when criminals choose to commit crimes, how they respond to law enforcement, and how criminal markets are organised. The course will examine current and historical episodes of crime around the world. Anja Shortland is an internationally renowned expert on piracy and kidnap for ransom. She is looking forward to discussing the best work in economics of crime (including that of David Skarbek!) and sharing her latest research – including chapters from her forthcoming book “Kidnapping: Inside the Ransom Business”.

The course will appeal to students who are interested in economics and enjoy the economic way of thinking. It is designed to encourage students to apply the economic framework to unusual - but important - real world problems. The course does not use highly formal models or advanced statistics, but largely relies on graphical analysis and analytic narratives. Seminars are reading-intensive and discussion-based. Students who do not complete the readings each week will struggle to do well.

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Dr Anja Shortland

Teaching pattern


Module assessment - more information

2-hour examination (50%), 2,500-word essay (50%)

Key information

Module code 6SSPP329

Credit level 6

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module No