Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard for causal inference. Using an experimental and a control group, double-blind and with a placebo, the effect of an intervention can be neatly determined. But this ideal scenario is not always practicable, or even ethically desirable. What if we want to know how effective sex-offender treatments are? Or whether employment makes people happier? In such cases, special methods have to be used to be able to make causal statements.
|Course level||Master, open to PhD staff and professionals|
|Recommended course combination||Session 1: Empirical Research Methods For Legal Studies|
Session 2: Wildlife Crime Analysis: Data-Driven Nature Protection
||28 July to 11 August 2018|
|Co-ordinating lecturer||Dr Steve van de Weijer
|Other lecturers||Dr Victor van der Geest
|Form(s) of tuition||Lectures, practicals, computer training|
|Form(s) of assessment||Short tests, presentation|
This course details with five special methods that can be used for criminology research: propensity score matching, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design, fixed effects methods and trajectory analysis.
After a brief refresher on regression models, you analyse a real-life dataset to assess whether various “remedies” (therapy, employment, marriage, punitive sanctions) are effective in reducing criminal recidivism. The techniques are explained in a conceptual manner, and the course provides you with numerous hands-on exercises using SPSS and Stata. You also practise reporting on the findings from such analyses, in scientific article format, as well as in conference-type presentation.
This course is taught by experienced lecturers from the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and VU Amsterdam.
At the end of this course, you can:
Steve van de Weijer obtained his PhD at VU University (department of criminology) in 2013. He is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). His research interests include life-course criminology, intergenerational transmission, biosocial criminology, and cybercrime. Moreover, he is specialised in quantitative research methods and has been teaching statistics and advanced quantitative methods at VU University since 2010.