Ringvorlesung im Herbstsemester 2021

Economics of Crime

Kriminalität kennt keine Regeln. Oder etwa doch? Beugt sich das Unmoralische etwa den Gesetzen der Ökonomie? Schafft es sich seine eigenen effizienten Muster? Im Rahmen der von der Fachschaft VWL organisierten Ringvorlesung des Herbstsemesters 2021 widmen sich internationale Referentinnen und Referenten dem Themenfeld “Economics of Crime” aus unterschiedlichen, dabei stets volkswirtschaftlich geprägten Perspektiven. Die Veranstaltungen finden zu unterschiedlichen Zeiten entweder in Präsenz (es gilt die 3G-Regelung) oder online statt. Nähere Informationen finden Sie weiter unten. Studierende aller Fakultäten sowie externe Gäste sind zu allen Veranstaltungen herzlich eingeladen.

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Mittwoch, 6. Oktober, 19.30 Uhr, Hörsaal SO 108:
Prof. Anna Bindler, Ph.D. (Universität zu Köln):
“The Persistence of the Criminal Justice Gender Gap: Evidence from 200 Years of Judicial Decisions”



We document persistent gender gaps favoring females in jury convictions and judges’ sentences in nearly 200 years of London trials, which are unexplained by case characteristics. We find that three sharp changes in punishment severity locally affected the size and nature of the gaps but were generally not strong enough to offset their persistence. These local effects suggest a mechanism of preference-based discrimination (paternalism) in which the all-male judiciary protected females from the harshest available punishment.


Anna Bindler is a Professor in Economics at the University of Cologne and member of the ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy Cluster of Excellence. She studied Economics in Bonn, Paris and London where she also obtained her PhD from the University College London in 2015. Her main research interests center around Applied Microeconomics, Economics of Crime and Law as well as Labor Economics. Anna Bindler’s work has been published in multiple Journals and twice in The Economist.

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Mittwoch, 27. Oktober, 19.00 Uhr, digital live:
Prof. Brian Knight, Ph.D. (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA):
“Crime and Gender Segregation: Evidence from the Bogota ´Pico y Genero´ Lockdown”


This paper investigates the link between gender and crime using information from a gender-based lockdown policy in Bogota Colombia during the pandemic. Under the policy, men were allowed out on odd days and women on even days, and we investigate whether overall crime rates differed and whether crime was lower on women-only days. We compare crime in Bogota to other cities and, within Bogota, the gender-based lockdown period to weeks with other lockdown policies. Our key findings are that crime rates are higher during the gender-based lockdown policy and that this is driven by more crime involving male victims and on men-only days. There is no evidence that higher crime on men-only days is offset by less crime on women-only days. The higher crimes on men-only days is driven by robbery, stolen cars and motorcycles, and homicides. We find higher sexual crimes on women-only days and an increase in domestic violence on both types of days. Taken together, our results suggest that gender segregation, if anything, tends to increase crime.


Brian Knight is a Professor of Economics at Brown University, Vice Chair of the Economics Department, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously worked as an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board and has held visiting faculty positions at Yale University and Harvard University. He received his PhD in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.S. in 1992 from Miami University. Research interests include political economy, fiscal federalism, and local public finance. His research has been published in American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Economic Journal, International Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and Journal of Public Economics. He previously served as a co-editor at the Journal of Public Economics and is on the Editorial Board at the American Economic Review.

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Mittwoch, 3. November, 19.30 Uhr, digital live:
Dr. Ria Ivandic (University of Oxford, Großbritannien):
“Football, Alcohol and Domestic Abuse”


We study the role of alcohol and emotions in explaining the dynamics in domestic abuse following major football games. We match confidential and uniquely detailed individual call data from Greater Manchester with the timing of football matches over a period of eight years to estimate the effect on domestic abuse. We first observe a 5% decrease in incidents during the 2-hour duration of the game suggesting a substitution effect of football and domestic abuse. However, following the initial decrease, after the game, domestic abuse starts increasing and peaks about ten hours after the game, leading to a positive cumulative effect. We find that all increases are driven by perpetrators that had consumed alcohol, and when games were played before 7pm. Unexpected game results are not found to have a significant effect.


Ria Ivandic is a Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Oxford (Department for Continuing Education) and Researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (Centre for Economic Performance, CEP). She is a Fellow at Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Zagreb. She has a PhD in Economics from the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. Her research interests are political economy, economics of crime and applied econometrics.

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Mittwoch, 10. November, 19.00 Uhr, digital live:
Prof. Randi Hjalmarsson, Ph.D. (Universität Göteborg, Schweden):
“The Health Effect of Prison”


This paper studies the health effects of Swedish prison reforms that held sentences constant but increased the share of time inmates were required to serve. The increase in time served did not harm post-release prisoner health, and actually reduced mortality risk. We find especially large decreases in mortality for offenders not previously incarcerated, younger offenders, and those more attached to the labor market. Suicide risk declined for inmates with mental health problems, and risk of circulatory death fell for older inmates. Health care utilization and program participation in prison increases with time served, which suggests an increase in healthcare treatment and services as the key mechanism for mortality declines.


Randi Hjalmarsson is a Professor in Economics at the University of Gothenburg and a member of the Scientific Board of Swedish Prison and Probation Services. She studied Mathematics and Economics at Columbia University and received a PhD in Economics from Yale University. As a labor economist, her main research interests center around the economics of crime and the criminal justice system. Randi Hjalmarsson’s work has been published in multiple papers and has also been covered in the public media such as in John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight.


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