Crime, Violence, & Conflict

J-PAL’s Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector works with NGOs, foundations, governments, and others to identify and implement cost-effective policy responses to issues of crime, violence, and conflict.

The Crime, Violence, & Conflict (CVC) sector aims to provide rigorous evidence on the causes and consequences of CVC and identify how policy responses can improve outcomes for those affected.

Worldwide, issues of CVC concentrate disproportionately among vulnerable populations, with detrimental effects on both actors and victims. In addition to these direct costs on society, the uncertainty and risks associated with CVC can discourage economic growth. Moreover, some current efforts to control or reduce CVC may be ineffective and can, themselves, impose substantial social and economic costs on communities.

New findings about human behavior from fields like cognitive psychology and behavioral economics have helped identify promising new policy designs and intervention strategies. A small but growing body of convincing scientific evidence suggests that at least some issues of CVC can be addressed, and that many of these policies are not currently widely implemented.

J-PAL affiliates’ CVC research explores critical questions in this field, including how to cost-effectively improve police performance and perception, help at-risk youth reduce criminal and violent behavior, and reconcile communities in post-conflict fragile states.

The Crime and Violence Initiative (CVI) will foster experimental research on crime and social and political violence. The submission deadline for its fall 2017 round has passed and decisions will be announced in November. The next RFP will be released in December.


Reducing Crime with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy helped young urban men in Liberia and the United States become more focused on the future, reducing criminal and violent behavior and increasing graduation rates when...

Youth in Chicago's Becoming a man program


Audio: On the Knife's Edge: Using Therapy To Address Violence Among Teens

Co-Chair of J-PAL's Crime, Violence, and Conflict sector, Jens Ludwig, discusses his research on how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped reduce violence among students in Chicago.

Headshot of Oeindrila Dube


Oeindrila Dube

Oeindrila Dube is the Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy. She studies poverty and conflict in the developing world.

Participants in the One Summer Chicago program received a summer job and an adult mentor


Scaling and Unpacking a Successful Summer Jobs Program

Recent studies have found that summer youth employment programs appear to generate large declines in the rates of violent crime—a significant finding for urban policymakers seeking to create safer,...

Sector Contacts

Sector Chairs

Chris Blattman


Jens Ludwig