IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Peer Effects on Criminal Behavior. Evidence from the homeless

  • Lucia Corno


    (University College London and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM))

Registered author(s):

    This paper investigates the influence of peers on criminal behavior, using original data I collected by interviewing homeless people in Milan. Information on friends' names was elicited, which allows to map each respondent’s network. Each individual was also asked to report his criminal status prior to becoming homeless. To estimate the causal effects of network size and of the share of criminal friends on (subsequent) criminal behavior, I rely on two instruments. The first is the share of rainy days since the individual has become homeless: rainfall fosters concentration of homeless individuals in sheltered places and increases the probability of meetings. The second instrument is the fraction of inmates released by Milan’s authorities during one’s period as homeless, which affects the supply of criminal potential friends. I find that the probability of arrest decreases by 16 percentage points with the network size, but it increases by 20 percentage points with the share of criminal friends in the group.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2012015.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012015
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AX
    Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 5888
    Fax: +44 (0)20 7916 2775
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Flore Gubert, 2005. "The Formation of Risk Sharing Networks," Working Papers DT/2005/13, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    2. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2008. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1150-1196, December.
    4. Stefan Dercon & Joachim De Weerdt, 2002. "Risk-sharing Networks and Insurance against illness," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2000. "Learning About a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," Working Papers 817, Economic Growth Center, Yale University, revised May 2004.
    6. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2004. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1464, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
    8. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven & Smolensky, Eugene, 2002. "Homeless in America, Homeless in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt4v61c0ws, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    9. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 3859, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Allgood, Sam & Warren, Ronald Jr., 2003. "The duration of homelessness: evidence from a national survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 273-290, December.
    12. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
    13. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2012. "Juvenile Delinquency and Conformism," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31.
    14. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2002. "Social networks and technology adoption in Northern Mozambique," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3539, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Neighborhood Peer Effects in Secondary School Enrollment Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 695-716, November.
    16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:91:y:1977:i:1:p:39-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig, 2005. "Is Crime Contagious?," Working Papers 85, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    18. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 4190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2007. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," NBER Working Papers 12932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Godlonton, Susan & Thornton, Rebecca, 2012. "Peer effects in learning HIV results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 118-129.
    21. Honig, Marjorie & Filer, Randall K, 1993. "Causes of Intercity Variation in Homelessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 248-55, March.
    22. Michela BRAGA & Lucia CORNO, 2009. "Being an homeless: evidence from Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2009-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    23. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele & Redaelli, Silvia, 2007. "Be as Careful of the Books You Read as of the Company You Keep: Evidence on Peer Effects in Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," NBER Working Papers 10739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. 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.
    26. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
    28. 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.
    29. Joachim De Weerdt & Marcel Fafchamps, 2011. "Social Identity and the Formation of Health Insurance Networks," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1152-1177, June.
    30. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    31. repec:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:1:p:128-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. 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.
    33. Stephen W. Salant, 1974. "Search theory and duration data: a theory of sorts," Special Studies Papers 42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012015. 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: (Norface Migration Administrator)

    or (Thomas Cornelissen)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.