EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Is Crime Contagious?

Jens Ludwig and Jeffrey Kling

Journal of Law and Economics, 2007, vol. 50, 491-518

Abstract: Understanding whether criminal behavior is “contagious” is important for law enforcement and for policies that affect how people are sorted across social settings. We test the hypothesis that criminal behavior is contagious by using data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing mobility experiment to examine the extent to which lower local area crime rates decrease arrest rates among individuals. Our analysis exploits the fact that the effect of treatment group assignment yields different types of neighborhood changes across the five MTO demonstration sites. We use treatment by site interactions as instruments for measures of neighborhood crime rates, poverty, and racial segregation in our analysis of individual arrest outcomes. We are unable to detect evidence in support of the contagion hypothesis. Neighborhood racial segregation appears to be the most important explanation for across-neighborhood variation in arrests for violent crimes in our sample, perhaps because drug market activity is more common in high-minority neighborhoods.

Date: 2007
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (35) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/519807 (text/html)
Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

Related works:
Working Paper: Is Crime Contagious? (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Is Crime Contagious? (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Is Crime Contagious? (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: Is Crime Contagious? (2005) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:491-518

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Journal of Law and Economics from University of Chicago Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Journals Division ().

 
Page updated 2020-01-30
Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:491-518