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Building Criminal Capital Behind Bars: Social Learning in Juvenile Corrections

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Author Info

  • Patrick J. Bayer

    ()
    (Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics (Box 8268))

  • Randi Pintoff

    ()
    (Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics (Box 8268))

  • David Emanuel Pozen

    ()
    (University of Oxford, Social Sciences Division, Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the influence that juvenile offenders serving time in the same correctional facility have on each other’s subsequent criminal behavior. The analysis is based on data on over 8,000 individuals serving time in 169 juvenile correctional facilities during a two-year period in Florida. These data provide a complete record of past crimes, facility assignments, and arrests and adjudications in the year following release for each individual. To control for the non-random assignment to facilities, we include facility fixed effects, thereby estimating peer effects using only within-facility variation over time. We find strong evidence of peer effects for various categories of theft, burglary, and felony drug and weapon crimes; the influence of peers primarily affects individuals who already have some experience in a particular crime category. We also find evidence that peer effects are stronger in smaller facilities and that the predominant types of peer effects differ in residential versus non-residential facilities. Effects in the latter are consistent with network formation among youth serving time close to home.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm418.

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Date of creation: 28 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm418

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Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/
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Related research

Keywords: social learning; peer effects; social interactions; recidivism; juvenile crime; human capital accumulation;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-85, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2005. "Learning about a new technology: pineapple in Ghana," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Michael A. Boozer & Stephen E. Cacciola, 2001. "Inside the 'Black Box' of Project STAR: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data," Working Papers 832, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. M. Keith Chen & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach," Law and Economics 0304003, EconWPA.
  7. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.
  8. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving To Opportunity In Boston: Early Results Of A Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654, May.
  9. Peter Arcidiacono & Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Peer Effects in Medical School," NBER Working Papers 9025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Who's Who in Crime Network. Wanted the Key Player," Working Paper Series 617, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, 08.
  3. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2005. "Assigning Deviant Youths to Minimize Total Harm," NBER Working Papers 11390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," Working Papers 52, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. M. Keith Chen & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1450, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Anna Bonanno, 2006. "The economic analysis of offender’s choice: Old and new insights," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 193-224, June.
  8. 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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