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Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Piil Damm

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)

  • Christian Dustmann

    (University College London)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of early exposure to neighborhood crime on subsequent criminal behavior of youth exploiting a unique natural experiment between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to neighborhoods quasi-randomly. We find strong evidence that the share of young people convicted for crimes, in particular violent crimes, in the neighborhood increases convictions of male assignees later in life. No such effects are found for other measures of neighborhood crime including the rate of committed crimes. Our findings suggest social interaction as a key channel through which neighborhood crime is linked to individual criminal behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Piil Damm & Christian Dustmann, 2013. "Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?," Economics Working Papers 2013-17, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2013-17
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Neighborhood effects; criminal convictions; social interactions; random allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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