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Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?

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  • Anna Piil Damm

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)

  • Christian Dustmann

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of early exposure to neighborhood crime on subsequent criminal behavior of youth exploiting a unique natural experiment between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to neighborhoods quasi-randomly. We find strong evidence that the share of young people convicted for crimes, in particular violent crimes, in the neighborhood increases convictions of male assignees later in life. No such effects are found for other measures of neighborhood crime including the rate of committed crimes. Our findings suggest social interaction as a key channel through which neighborhood crime is linked to individual criminal behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2013025.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2013025

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Keywords: Neighborhood effects; criminal convictions; social interactions; random allocation;

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Louis Vezina & Christopher Parsons, 2014. "Migrant Networks and Trade: The Vietnamese Boat People as a Natural Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers 705, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Baetz, Oliver, 0. "Social activity and network formation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.

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