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Crime and Social Interactions

  • Edward E. Glaeser
  • Bruce Sacerdote
  • Jose A. Scheinkman

The high variance of crime rates across time and space is one of the oldest puzzles in the social sciences; this variance appears too high to be explained by changes in the exogenous costs and benefits of crime. The authors present a model where social interactions create enough covariance across individuals to explain the high cross-city variance of crime rates. This model provides an index of social interactions which suggests that the amount of social interactions is highest in petty crimes, moderate in more serious crimes, and almost negligible in murder and rape. Copyright 1996, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1738.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1738
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  1. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  2. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-21, May.
  3. Isaac Ehrlich, 1973. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," NBER Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roland Benabou, 1994. "Education, Income Distribution and Growth: The Local Connection," NBER Working Papers 4798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-14, May.
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