Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is Crime Contagious?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jeffrey R. Kling
  • Jens Ludwig

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that criminal behavior is “contagious” – or susceptible to what economists term “endogenous effects” – by examining the extent to which lower local-area crime rates decrease arrest rates among individuals. Using data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing-mobility experiment, in operation since 1994 in five U.S. cities, we exploit the fact that the effect of treatment group assignment yields different types of neighborhood changes across the five demonstration sites and use treatment-site interactions to instrument for measures of post-randomization neighborhood crime rates as well as neighborhood poverty or racial segregation in analysis of individual arrest outcomes. We find no evidence that violence is contagious; neighborhood racial segregation appears to be the most important explanation for across-neighborhood variation in arrests for violent crimes. Our only evidence for contagion comes with less serious crimes. Some estimates suggest an effect for males, but these results are imprecise. We also find evidence that young males are more likely to engage in property crimes when violent crimes are relatively more prevalent within the community. These findings are consistent with a “resource swamping” model in which increases in the prevalence of more serious crimes dilutes the police resources available for deterring less serious crimes.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp010p096690c
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 889.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp010p096690c

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098
Phone: 609 258-4041
Fax: 609 258-2907
Email:
Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: endogenous effects; social multiplier; arrests; social experiment;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig, 2005. "Is Crime Contagious?," Working Papers 85, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  2. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 1999. "A New Specification Test for the Validity of Instrumental Variables," Working papers 99-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "New Evidence on the Causal Link Between the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 11835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
  8. Edgar O. Olsen, 2001. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Working Papers 8208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704, May.
  11. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 345-353, 04/05.
  16. Corman, Hope & Mocan, Naci, 2005. "Carrots, Sticks, and Broken Windows," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 235-66, April.
  17. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  19. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  21. 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, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130, January.
  22. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  23. Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 1998. "Guns, Violence, and the Efficiency of Illegal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 463-67, May.
  24. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 8358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig & Sudhir Venkatesh & Anthony A. Braga, 2005. "Underground Gun Markets," NBER Working Papers 11737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
  27. Hong, Harrison & Kacperczyk, Marcin, 2009. "The price of sin: The effects of social norms on markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 15-36, July.
  28. Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effects of Police on Crime: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1244-1250, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp010p096690c. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.