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Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism

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  • Eleonora Patacchini
  • Yves Zenou

Abstract

This article studies whether conformism behavior affects individual outcomes in crime. We present a social network model of peer effects with ex ante heterogeneous agents and show how conformism and deterrence affect criminal activities. We then bring the model to the data by using a very detailed data set of adolescent friendship networks. A novel social network--based empirical strategy allows us to identify peer effects for different types of crimes. We find that conformity plays an important role for all crimes, especially for petty crimes. This suggests that, for juvenile crime, an effective policy should be measured not only by the possible crime reduction it implies but also by the group interactions it engenders. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2012. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:28:y::i:1:p:1-31
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewp038
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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