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Partners in Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen B. Billings
  • David J. Deming
  • Stephen L. Ross

Abstract

Social interactions may explain the large variance in criminal activity across neighborhoods and time. We present direct evidence of social spillovers in crime using random variation in neighborhood residence along opposite sides of a newly drawn school boundary. We first show evidence for agglomeration effects—within small neighborhood areas, grouping more disadvantaged students together in the same school increases total crime. We then show that these youths are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together—to be "partners in crime". Our results show that neighborhood and school segregation increase crime by fostering social interactions between at-risk youth.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen B. Billings & David J. Deming & Stephen L. Ross, 2019. "Partners in Crime," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 126-150, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:11:y:2019:i:1:p:126-50
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170249
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Partners in Crime (American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2019) in ReplicationWiki

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