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Social Interactions and Crime revisited: An Investigation using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods


  • Wim Bernasco

    () (NSCR)

  • Thomas de Graaff

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Jan Rouwendal

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Wouter Steenbeek



Using data on the age, sex, ethnicity and criminal involvement of 14.3 million residents aged 10–89 residing in 4,007 neighborhoods in the Netherlands, this article tests if an individual’s criminal involvement is affected by the proportion of criminals living in their neighborhood of residence. We develop a binomial discrete choice model for criminal involvement and estimate it on individual data. We control for the endogeneity that may be related to the unobserved neighborhood characteristics and take into account possible biases that may result from sorting behavior. We find strongly significant social interaction effects and explore their implications for the presence of multiple equilibria and social multipliers.

Suggested Citation

  • Wim Bernasco & Thomas de Graaff & Jan Rouwendal & Wouter Steenbeek, 2012. "Social Interactions and Crime revisited: An Investigation using Individual Offender Data in Dutch Neighborhoods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-108/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 28 Apr 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20120108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Freeman, Scott & Grogger, Jeffrey & Sonstelie, Jon, 1996. "The Spatial Concentration of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 216-231, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Crime and Networks: 10 Policy Lessons," IZA Discussion Papers 12534, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bernt Bratsberg & Øystein Hernæs & Simen Markussen & Oddbjørn Raaum & Knut Røed, 2019. "Welfare Activation and Youth Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-574, October.
    3. Mulalic, Ismir & Rouwendal, Jan, 2020. "Does improving public transport decrease car ownership? Evidence from a residential sorting model for the Copenhagen metropolitan area," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    4. Richard Disney & John Gathergood & Stephen Machin & Matteo Sandi, 2020. "Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp1685, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item


    social interactions; neighborhoods; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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