Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?

75 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2011

See all articles by Lung-Fei Lee

Lung-Fei Lee

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics

Xiaodong Liu

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2011

Abstract

We analyze delinquent networks of adolescents in the United States. We develop a theoretical model showing who the key player is, i.e. the criminal who once removed generates the highest possible reduction in aggregate crime level. We also show that key players are not necessary the most active criminals in a network. We then test our model using data on criminal behaviors of adolescents in the United States (AddHealth data). Compared to other criminals, key players are more likely to be a male, have less educated parents, are less attached to religion and feel socially more excluded. They also feel that adults care less about them, are less attached to their school and have more troubles getting along with the teachers. We also find that, even though some criminals are not very active in criminal activities, they can be key players because they have a crucial position in the network in terms of betweenness centrality.

Keywords: betweenness centrality, Bonacich centrality, Crime, crime policies, network characteristics

JEL Classification: A14, D85, K42, Z13

Suggested Citation

Lee, Lung-Fei and Liu, Xiaodong and Patacchini, Eleonora and Zenou, Yves, Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player? (January 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8185. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1742729

Lung-Fei Lee (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

Xiaodong Liu

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

HOME PAGE: http://spot.colorado.edu/~xiaodong/

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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