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Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism

  • Eleonora Patacchini
  • Yves Zenou

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewp038
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:28:y::i:1:p:1-31
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  1. Conley, John P. & Wang, Ping, 2006. "Crime and ethics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 107-123, July.
  2. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Delinquent Networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0912, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
  4. Bramoullé, Yann & Djebbari, Habiba & Fortin, Bernard, 2009. "Identification of peer effects through social networks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 41-55, May.
  5. Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0814, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2009. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-147.
  7. H. Naci Mocan & Daniel I. Rees, 2005. "Economic Conditions, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from Micro Data," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 319-349.
  8. Cohen-Cole, Ethan, 2006. "Multiple groups identification in the linear-in-means model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 157-162, August.
  9. Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Who’s Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," CEPR Discussion Papers 5329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ferrer, Rosa, 2010. "Breaking the law when others do: A model of law enforcement with neighborhood externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 163-180, February.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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