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Crime and Conformism

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  • Patacchini, Eleonora
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We propose a simple conformism model that explains how parental education and peer pressure impact on criminal activities. We then test the model using the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (AddHealth), which contains unique information on friendship relationships among delinquent teenagers. We find that conformity is very strong within groups of delinquents and that the higher the taste for conformity of an individual, the lower the deviation from the norm's group. These results suggest that, for teenagers, the decision to commit crimes is not a simple choice based primarily on individual considerations but is strongly affected by their environment and peers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5331.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5331

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Related research

Keywords: conformism; juvenile crime; norms; parents' education;

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References

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  1. Fershtman, C. & Weiss,Y., 1995. "Social Rewards, Externalities and Stable Preferences," Papers, Tel Aviv 32-95, Tel Aviv.
  2. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  3. 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, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679, May.
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  5. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education and Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  8. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 601, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  10. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130, January.
  11. Durlauf, Steven N., 2004. "Neighborhood effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 50, pages 2173-2242 Elsevier.
  12. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Strong and weak ties in employment and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 203-233, February.
  14. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  15. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  16. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Buonanno & Giacomo Pasini & Paolo Vanin, 2008. "Crime and Social Sanction," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0071, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  2. Battu, Harminder & Mwale, McDonald & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 649, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Hauret, Laetitia & Langlais, Eric & Sonntag, Carine, 2009. "On the deterrent effect of individual versus collective liability in criminal organizations," MPRA Paper 14762, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Robert Dur, 2006. "Status-Seeking in Violent Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Robert Dur & Joël Van Der Weele, 2013. "Status-Seeking in Criminal Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 77-93, 02.
  6. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Strong and weak ties in employment and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 203-233, February.
  7. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2006. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Working Papers, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics 0605, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.

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