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Who's Who in Crime Networks: Wanted - The Key Player

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  • Ballester, Coralio
  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

Criminals are embedded in a network of relationships. Social ties among criminals are modelled by means of a graph where criminals compete for a bounty and benefit from local interactions with their neighbours. Each criminal decides in a non-cooperative way how much crime effort they will exert. We show that the Nash equilibrium crime effort of each individual is proportional to their equilibrium Bonacich-centrality in the network, thus establishing a bridge to the sociology literature on social networks. We then analyse a policy that consists of finding and getting rid of the key player, that is, the criminal who, once removed, leads to the maximum reduction in aggregate crime. We provide a geometric characterization of the key player identified with an optimal inter-centrality measure, which takes into account both a player’s centrality and their contribution to the centrality of the others. We also provide a geometric characterization of the key group, which generalizes the key player for a group of criminals of a given size. We finally endogeneize the crime participation decision, resulting in a key player policy, which effectiveness depends on the outside opportunities available to criminals.

Suggested Citation

  • Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Who's Who in Crime Networks: Wanted - The Key Player," CEPR Discussion Papers 4421, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4421
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
    3. Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Crime, Location and the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.
    5. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2006. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1403-1417, September.
    6. Sergio Currarini, & Elena Fumagalli & Fabrizio Panebianco, 2012. "Games on Networks: Direct Complements and Indirect Substitutes," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/04, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    7. Sudipta Sarangi & Emre Unlu, 2011. "Key Players and Key Groups in Teams," Departmental Working Papers 2011-10, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    8. Jan K. Brueckner & Oleg Smirnov, 2007. "Workings Of The Melting Pot: Social Networks And The Evolution Of Population Attributes," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 209-228, May.
    9. Umed Temurshoev, 2008. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: the Key Group," Working Papers 08-08, NET Institute, revised Sep 2008.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    centrality measures; crime; key group; policies; social networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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