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Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?

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  • Lee, Lung-Fei
  • Liu, Xiaodong
  • Patacchini, Eleonora
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

We analyze delinquent networks of adolescents in the United States. We develop a dynamic network formation model showing who the key player is, i.e. the criminal who once removed generates the highest possible reduction in aggregate crime level. We then structurally estimate our model using data on criminal behaviors of adolescents in the United States (AddHealth data). Compared to other criminals, key players are more likely to be a male, have less educated parents, are less attached to religion and feel socially more excluded. We also find that, even though some criminals are not very active in criminal activities, they can be key players because they have a crucial position in the network in terms of betweenness centrality.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Lung-Fei & Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8772, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8772
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bonacich centrality; crime policies; dynamic network formation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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