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The Economics of Crime and Punishment field examines a range of connected research agendas focusing on the motives to engage in illicit activity, strategies to prevent illegal/dangerous behavior, the impacts of crime on victims and society, the causal effects of policy responses and criminal sanctions (e.g. “hot spot” policing, criminal convictions, incarceration, etc.), and the operations of law enforcement organizations. Research in this field adopts a range of empirical strategies including randomized controlled trials, natural experiments, lab experiments, and structural modeling. 

Primary Appointment Within the Economics Department
Primary Appointment outside the Economics Department

School of Information

Ford School of Public Policy & Department of Economics (courtesy)

Law School & Department of Economics (courtesy)

Recent Graduate Student Placement Locations

University of Chicago Crime Lab

Boston Univeristy School of Law



Seminars, Reading Groups, Lunches, etc.

Economics of Crime and Punishment sits at the intersection of several fields including Labor Economics, Law and Economics, and Public Economics, each of which has its own dedicated research seminar.  Students have opportunities to present their own research at a variety of venues including: the labor lunch, PFFLS, and H2D2.

In addition, the University of Michigan is home to the Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS), a new integrated data platform revolutionizing research on crime and criminal justice policy in the U.S. The scope and degree of data collection and integration in CJARS is unprecedented, yielding significant opportunities to pursue novel research in this field.

Selected Recent Publications