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Crime and Social Interactions

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Bruce Sacerdote
  • José A. Scheinkman

Abstract

The high variance of crime rates across time and space is one of the oldest puzzles in the social sciences; this variance appears too high to be explained by changes in the exogenous costs and benefits of crime. We present a model where social interactions create enough covariance across individuals to explain the high cross-city variance of crime rates. This model provides an index of social interactions which suggests that the amount of social interactions is highest in petty crimes, moderate in more serious crimes, and almost negligible in murder and rape.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:507-548.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2946686
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Roland Benabou, 1994. "Education, Income Distribution and Growth: The Local Connection," NBER Working Papers 4798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-414, May.
    7. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General

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