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Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime

  • Antoni Calvó-Armengol
  • Thierry Verdier
  • Yves Zenou

This paper analyses the interplay between social structure and information exchange in two competing activities, crime and labor. We consider a dynamic model in which individuals belong to mutually exclusive two-person groups, referred to as dyads. Two individuals belonging to the same dyad hold a strong tie with each other, but each dyad partner can meet other individuals outside the dyad partnership, referred to as weak ties. Individuals learn about crime opportunities either through strong or weak ties and learn about jobs through employment agencies. There are multiple equilibria. If jobs are badly paid and/or crime is profitable, unemployment benefits have to be low enough to prevent workers for staying too long in the unemployment status because they are vulnerable to crime activities while, if people are well paid and/or crime is not profitable, unemployment benefits have to be high enough to induce workers to stay unemployed rather to commit crime because they are less vulnerable to crime activities. Social cohesion favors employment but also knits together delinquents into resilient clusters, and more deterrence effort is needed to reduce crime.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 180.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:180
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  12. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130, January.
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  14. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 1998. "An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances," NBER Working Papers 6592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
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  18. Jens Otto Ludwig & Greg Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2000. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 158, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  19. Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Who's Who in Crime Network. Wanted the Key Player," Working Paper Series 617, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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  25. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education and Crime," Working Paper Series 645, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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  27. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Crime and Conformism," CEPR Discussion Papers 5331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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