Crime and Social Interactions
AbstractThe high degree of variance of crime rates across space (and across time) is one of the oldest puzzles in the social sciences (see Quetelet (1835)). Our empirical work strongly suggests that this variance is not the result of observed or unobserved geographic attributes. This paper presents a model where social interactions create enough covariance across individuals to explain the high cross- city variance of crime rates. This model provides a natural index of social interactions which can compare the degree of social interaction across crimes, across geographic 1units and across time. Our index gives similar results for different data samples and suggests that the amount of social interactions are highest in petty crimes (such as larceny and auto theft), moderate in more serious crimes (assault, burglary and robbery) and almost negligible in murder and rape. The index of social interactions is also applied to non-criminal choices and we find that there is substantial interaction in schooling choice.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5026.
Date of creation: Feb 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 111, no. 2 (May 1996): 507-548.
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Other versions of this item:
- Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
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