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Building Criminal Capital Behind Bars: Social Learning in Juvenile Corrections

  • Patrick J. Bayer

    ()

    (Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics (Box 8268))

  • Randi Pintoff

    ()

    (Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics (Box 8268))

  • David Emanuel Pozen

    ()

    (University of Oxford, Social Sciences Division, Department of Economics)

This paper analyzes the influence that juvenile offenders serving time in the same correctional facility have on each other’s subsequent criminal behavior. The analysis is based on data on over 8,000 individuals serving time in 169 juvenile correctional facilities during a two-year period in Florida. These data provide a complete record of past crimes, facility assignments, and arrests and adjudications in the year following release for each individual. To control for the non-random assignment to facilities, we include facility fixed effects, thereby estimating peer effects using only within-facility variation over time. We find strong evidence of peer effects for various categories of theft, burglary, and felony drug and weapon crimes; the influence of peers primarily affects individuals who already have some experience in a particular crime category. We also find evidence that peer effects are stronger in smaller facilities and that the predominant types of peer effects differ in residential versus non-residential facilities. Effects in the latter are consistent with network formation among youth serving time close to home.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm418.

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Date of creation: 28 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm418
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/

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  1. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peter Arcidiacono & Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Peer Effects in Medical School," NBER Working Papers 9025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
  6. M. Keith Chen & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach," Law and Economics 0304003, EconWPA.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael A. Boozer & Stephen E. Cacciola, 2001. "Inside the 'Black Box' of Project STAR: Estimation of Peer Effects Using Experimental Data," Working Papers 832, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-85, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  12. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
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