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Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour

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  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We develop a model in which delinquents compete with each other in criminal activities but may benefit from being friends with other criminals (by learning and acquiring proper know-how in the crime business). We first study the Nash equilibrium of this game by taking the social network connecting agents as given. We show that this game always has a pure strategy Nash equilibrium for generic values of the parameters. Ex ante identical individuals connected through a network can end up with very different equilibrium outcomes: either employed, or isolated criminal or criminals in networks. We also show that multiple equilibria with different number of active criminals and levels of involvement in crime activities may coexist and are only driven by the geometry of the pattern of links connecting criminals. We then consider a two-stage network formation and crime decisions game. We show that the multiplicity of equilibrium outcomes holds even when we allow for endogenous network formation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3966.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3966

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Keywords: crime; multiple equilibria; social networks; strategic interactions;

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  1. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty And Juvenile Crime: Evidence From A Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679, May.
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  14. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
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  16. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2002. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects and Inequality," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0217, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  17. Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "A survey of models of network formation: Stability and efficiency," Working Papers 1161, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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