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The Purdue University Research Center in Economics (PURCE) hosts a number of events each year that highlight our faculty, their research, and the research's ability to help community groups, businesses, and government address economic challenges.

PURCE also hosts visitors to campus for lectures and more intimate conversations; many events are open to the public while some are reserved for students or PURCE partners and supporters.

Economic Policy Luncheons

PURCE hosts an Economic Policy Lunch series featuring a faculty member presenting their latest empirical research findings. These lunch hour events are held in Krannert's Rawls Hall, and attendance is by invitation only.


Our monthly luncheons start at 11:30 a.m. and feature a catered, hot lunch; an informal talk by a PURCE faculty affiliate; a Q&A session; and networking with local business leaders, community members, elected officials, and academics.

Our Wednesday, September 25, 2019 luncheon will feature Dr. Jillian Carr, Krannert Assistant Professor of Economics.

Carr's presentation, Oh SNAP!: How Government Policies Can Make Crime Less Appealing, will center on how altering benefit distribution can have an effect on crime.

Economists view crime like they view anything else – through the lens of weighing costs and benefits. Given that, we know it is possible to reduce crime by altering cost-benefit calculations for potential offenders. Policing is only one part of the equation, though. Government policies can be designed to make crime less appealing. 

In her “SNAP Benefits and Crime: Evidence from Changing Disbursement Schedules,” published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Dr. Carr finds that staggering the disbursement of nutritional aid leads to a 20.9% reduction in theft at grocery stores. This is just one data-supported example of how altering benefit distribution can have an effect on crime.   

Dr. Carr will talk about some peculiarities of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly “Food Stamps”) that have substantial impacts on the lives of recipients -- including their likelihood of being convicted of a crime. She will describe how economists rationalize crime through the lens of costs and benefits, and explain how social benefit programs fit into how prospective criminals view those costs and benefits.

If you would like to be invited to our monthly Economic Policy luncheons, please join our mailing list by sharing your contact information with us by emailing