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Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour

Listed author(s):
  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni
  • Zenou, Yves

We develop a model in which delinquents compete with each other in criminal activities but may benefit from being friends with other criminals (by learning and acquiring proper know-how in the crime business). We first study the Nash equilibrium of this game by taking the social network connecting agents as given. We show that this game always has a pure strategy Nash equilibrium for generic values of the parameters. Ex ante identical individuals connected through a network can end up with very different equilibrium outcomes: either employed, or isolated criminal or criminals in networks. We also show that multiple equilibria with different number of active criminals and levels of involvement in crime activities may coexist and are only driven by the geometry of the pattern of links connecting criminals. We then consider a two-stage network formation and crime decisions game. We show that the multiplicity of equilibrium outcomes holds even when we allow for endogenous network formation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3966.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3966
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  1. 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.
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  4. Jackson, Matthew O. & Calvo, Antoni, 2002. "Social Networks in Determing Employment and Wages: Patterns, Dynamics, and Inequality," Working Papers 1149, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Racial Beliefs, Location, And The Causes Of Crime," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 731-760, 08.
  6. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Strong and weak ties in employment and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 203-233, February.
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  16. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 265-295, October.
  17. Gabrielle Demange & Wooders Myrna, 2005. "Group Formation in Economics: Networks, Clubs and Coalitions," Post-Print halshs-00576778, HAL.
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  19. Follmer, Hans, 1974. "Random economies with many interacting agents," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 51-62, March.
  20. Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "A survey of models of network formation: Stability and efficiency," Working Papers 1161, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  21. Chien-Chieh Huang & Derek Laing & Ping Wang, 2004. "Crime And Poverty: A Search-Theoretic Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 909-938, 08.
  22. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
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