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Who's Who in Crime Network. Wanted the Key Player

  • Ballester, Coralio

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Criminals are embedded in a network of relationships. Social ties among criminals are modeled by means of a graph where criminals compete for a booty and benefit from local interactions with their neighbours. Each criminal decides in a non-cooperative way how much crime effort he will exert. We show that the Nash equilibrium crime effort of each individual is proportional to his equilibrium Bonacich-centrality in the network, thus establishing a bridge to the sociology literature on social networks. We then analyze 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 his 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.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 617.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 29 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0617
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  1. 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.
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