IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/journl/halshs-03344049.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Crime, Broken Families, and Punishment

Author

Listed:
  • Emeline Bezin

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Thierry Verdier

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Yves Zenou

    (Monash University [Melbourne], Stockholm University)

Abstract

We develop a two-period overlapping generations model in which both the structure of the family and the decision to commit crime are endogenous and the dynamics of moral norms of good conduct (honesty trait) is transmitted intergenerationally by families and peers. Having a father at home might be crucial to prevent susceptible boys from becoming criminals, as this facilitates the transmission of the honesty trait against criminal behavior. By "destroying" biparental families and putting fathers in prison, we show that more intense crime repression can backfire at the local level because it increases the possibility that criminals' sons become criminals themselves. Consistent with sociological disorganization theories of crime, the model also explains the emergence and persistence of urban ghettos characterized by a large proportion of broken families, high crime rates, and high levels of peer socialization, which reinforce criminal activities. Finally, we discuss the efficiency of segregation, family and education policies in terms of long-term crime rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Emeline Bezin & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2021. "Crime, Broken Families, and Punishment," Post-Print halshs-03344049, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03344049
    DOI: 10.1257/mic.20200379
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03344049
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anthony Briant & Miren Lafourcade & Benoît Schmutz, 2015. "Can Tax Breaks Beat Geography? Lessons from the French Enterprise Zone Experience," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 88-124, May.
    2. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679.
    3. Will Dobbie & Hans Grönqvist & Susan Niknami & Mårten Palme & Mikael Priks, 2018. "The Intergenerational Effects of Parental Incarceration," NBER Working Papers 24186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bondonio, Daniele & Engberg, John, 2000. "Enterprise zones and local employment: evidence from the states' programs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 519-549, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455, October.
    8. Megan Stevenson, 2017. "Breaking Bad: Mechanisms of Social Influence and the Path to Criminality in Juvenile Jails," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(5), pages 824-838, December.
    9. Papke, Leslie E., 1994. "Tax policy and urban development : Evidence from the Indiana enterprise zone program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 37-49, May.
    10. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    11. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Delinquent Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 34-61, March.
    12. Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves & Lee, Lung-Fei, 2011. "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?," Research Papers in Economics 2011:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    13. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2013. "The origins of intergenerational associations in crime: Lessons from Swedish adoption data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 68-81.
    14. Lucia Corno, 2017. "Homelessness and Crime: Do Your Friends Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(602), pages 959-995, June.
    15. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    16. Anna Piil Damm & Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1806-1832, June.
    17. Wim Bernasco & Thomas de Graaff & Jan Rouwendal & Wouter Steenbeek, 2017. "Social Interactions and Crime Revisited: An Investigation Using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 622-636, July.
    18. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
    19. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Social Networks And Crime Decisions: The Role Of Social Structure In Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 939-958, August.
    20. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Bogart, William T., 1996. "Enterprise Zones and Employment: Evidence from New Jersey," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 198-215, September.
    21. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    22. Bruno Decreuse & Steeve Mongrain & Tanguy van Ypersele, 2022. "Property crime and private protection allocation within cities: Theory and evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(3), pages 1142-1163, July.
    23. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April.
    24. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    25. Amanda Geller & Carey Cooper & Irwin Garfinkel & Ofira Schwartz-Soicher & Ronald Mincy, 2012. "Beyond Absenteeism: Father Incarceration and Child Development," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 49-76, February.
    26. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2012. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
    27. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-652.
    28. Scott South & Kyle Crowder, 1997. "Residential mobility between cities and suburbs: race, suburbanization, and back-to-the-city moves," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 525-538, November.
    29. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    30. Manudeep Bhuller & Gordon B. Dahl & Katrine V. Loken & Magne Mogstad, 2018. "Intergenerational Effects of Incarceration," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 234-240, May.
    31. Hjalmarsson Randi & Lindquist Matthew J., 2010. "Driving Under the Influence of Our Fathers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, November.
    32. Gaigné, Carl & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Agglomeration, city size and crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 62-82.
    33. Jeff Grogger & Michael Willis, 2000. "The Emergence Of Crack Cocaine And The Rise In Urban Crime Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 519-529, November.
    34. 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.
    35. Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2012. "Like Godfather, Like Son: Exploring the Intergenerational Nature of Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 550-582.
    36. Givord, Pauline & Rathelot, Roland & Sillard, Patrick, 2013. "Place-based tax exemptions and displacement effects: An evaluation of the Zones Franches Urbaines program," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 151-163.
    37. 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, August.
    38. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    39. Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), 2015. "Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 5.
    40. Amanda Geller & Irwin Garfinkel & Bruce Western, 2011. "Paternal Incarceration and Support for Children in Fragile Families," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 25-47, February.
    41. Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "An Analysis of the Crime as Work Model: Evidence from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 479-509.
    42. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2009. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-147.
    43. Lucia Corno, 2017. "Homelessness and Crime: Do Your Friends Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(602), pages 959-995, June.
    44. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
    45. Nuno Garoupa, 1997. "The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-295, September.
    46. Larry Bumpass & R. Raley & James Sweet, 1995. "The changing character of stepfamilies: implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 425-436, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. P. Jean-Jacques Herings & Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2021. "Horizon- K Farsightedness in Criminal Networks," Games, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-13, July.
    2. Thomas TB Baudin & Bram De Rock & Paula Eugenia Gobbi, 2021. "Economics and Family Structures," Working Papers ECARES 2021-21, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Díaz, Carlos & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2021. "Leaders in juvenile crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 638-667.
    4. Errol, Zeresh & Madsen, Jakob B. & Moslehi, Solmaz, 2021. "Social disorganization theory and crime in the advanced countries: Two centuries of evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 519-537.
    5. Bethencourt, Carlos & Kunze, Lars, 2022. "The economics of crime and socialization: The role of the family," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 579-597.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bethencourt, Carlos & Kunze, Lars, 2014. "On the intergenerational nature of criminal behavior," MPRA Paper 58344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bethencourt, Carlos & Kunze, Lars, 2022. "The economics of crime and socialization: The role of the family," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 579-597.
    3. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Crime and Networks: 10 Policy Lessons," IZA Discussion Papers 12534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Topa, Giorgio & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Neighborhood and Network Effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 561-624, Elsevier.
    5. Gaigné, Carl & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Agglomeration, city size and crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 62-82.
    6. Liu, Xiaodong & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves & Lee, Lung-Fei, 2011. "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?," Research Papers in Economics 2011:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    7. Picard, Pierre M. & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Urban spatial structure, employment and social ties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 77-93.
    8. Picard, Pierre M. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Urban Spatial Structure, Employment and Social Ties: European versus American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 9166, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Díaz, Carlos & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2021. "Leaders in juvenile crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 638-667.
    10. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Delinquent Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 34-61, March.
    11. Zenou, Yves, 2013. "Spatial versus social mismatch," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 113-132.
    12. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Market Paper," TSE Working Papers 17-840, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    13. Chen, Ying-Ju & Zenou, Yves & Zhou, Junjie, 2015. "Multiple Activities for Socially-Connected Criminals," CEPR Discussion Papers 10709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Crime, Location and the Housing Market," Working Paper Series 651, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    15. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Incarcerate one to calm the others? Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups: Job Maket Paper," IAST Working Papers 17-70, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    16. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Ethnicity and Spatial Externalities in Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 6130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2012. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
    18. Bryan A. Stuart & Evan J. Taylor, 2021. "The Effect of Social Connectedness on Crime: Evidence from the Great Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 18-33, March.
    19. Helsley, Robert W. & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Social networks and interactions in cities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 426-466.
    20. Karin Eriksson & Randi Hjalmarsson & Matthew Lindquist & Anna Sandberg, 2016. "The importance of family background and neighborhood effects as determinants of crime," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 219-262, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Social Interactions; Cultural Transmission; Social Disorganization Theory; Broken Families; Urban Ghettos; Segregation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03344049. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.