Youth Gangs as Pseudo-Governments: Implications for Violent Crime
AbstractWe hypothesize the failure of government to protect the rights of individuals from violence committed by youths has led to the formation of youth gangs as protective agencies. Our theory predicts an opposite direction of causality between gang activity and violent crime than is widely accepted. While areas with more gang activity also have more violence, our results suggest gangs form as protection agencies precisely in areas with high violent crime rates. While gangs, like governments, use violence to enforce rules, the net impact of gangs is likely to lower violent crime. We test this hypothesis and offer policy implications.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 09-09.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Russell S. Sobel & Brian J. Osoba, 2009. "Youth Gangs as Pseudo-Governments Implications for Violent Crime," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 996-1018, April.
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
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