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Partners in Crime

Stephen B. Billings, David J. Deming and Stephen Ross ()

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2019, vol. 11, issue 1, 126-50

Abstract: Social interactions may explain the large variance in criminal activity across neighborhoods and time. We present direct evidence of social spillovers in crime using random variation in neighborhood residence along opposite sides of a newly drawn school boundary. We first show evidence for agglomeration effects—within small neighborhood areas, grouping more disadvantaged students together in the same school increases total crime. We then show that these youths are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together—to be "partners in crime". Our results show that neighborhood and school segregation increase crime by fostering social interactions between at-risk youth.

JEL-codes: I24 I28 J13 K42 R11 R23 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170249
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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics is currently edited by Alexandre Mas

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