Topic: An analysis of the crime trends in (insert country or city)
Starting from Levitt (2004), make an analysis of the crime trends in a country (or city) of your choice in the decade 2000-2010 (up to 2015 if data is available). In order to do so, you should first provide a short outlook of the data available on different crimes and incarceration, possibly showing the trends with the help of some graph. Then, you should find at least two possible factors that might have had an impact on the highlighted trend (e.g. unemployment, reforms, investments in police forces) and discuss why and how there might be a causal link, using both actual data and predictions from the course materials.
There is no need to engage with complicated statistical tools, as long as you can justify your claims in a reasonable way. We recommend the use of Excel or STATA to handle the data and draw graphs. You can choose whether to write about all kind of crimes or a particular subset. Please, make references to the sources of your data and all eventual material like policy reports or papers you quote in your text.
Develop your answer in less than 1500 words. Best essays will be clear and well-structured; they will show comprehension of the dynamics underlying the issue in question, references to the materials of the course and beyond it, have a detailed bibliography, original content and a critical analysis of the phenomena. An interdisciplinary and creative approach is always a plus. Synthesis will be appreciated, there is no need to write a lot if your answer is complete and logical. We recommend to use paragraphs and to highlight the main concepts using a bold font.