The Phenomenology of Specialization of Criminal Suspects

22 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012  

Michele Tumminello

University of Palermo; Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Christofer Edling

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Fredrik Liljeros

Stockholm University - Department of Sociology

Rosario N. Mantegna

Central European University; University of Palermo

Jerzy Sarnecki

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 16, 2012

Abstract

A criminal career can be either general, with the criminal commiting different types of crime, or specialized, with the criminal commiting a specific type of crime. A central problem in the study of crime specialization is to determine, from the perspective of the criminal, which crimes should be considered similar and which crimes should be considered distinct. We study a large set of Swedish suspects to empirically investigate generalist and specialist behavior in crime. We show that there is a large group of suspects who can be described as generalists. At the same time, we observe a non-trivial pattern of specialization across age and gender of suspects. Women are less prone to commit crimes of certain types, and, for instance, are more prone to specialize in crimes related to fraud. We also find evidence of temporal specialization of suspects. Older persons are more specialized than younger ones, and some crime types are preferentially committed by suspects of different ages.

Keywords: complex systems, social systems, crime, networks

Suggested Citation

Tumminello, Michele and Edling, Christofer and Liljeros, Fredrik and Mantegna, Rosario N. and Jerzy Sarnecki, The Phenomenology of Specialization of Criminal Suspects (August 16, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2130613 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2130613

Michele Tumminello

University of Palermo ( email )

Viale delle Scienza
Palermo, Palermo 90128
Italy

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Christofer Edling

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Fredrik Liljeros

Stockholm University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Stockholm S-106 91
Sweden

Rosario Nunzio Mantegna (Contact Author)

Central European University ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051
Hungary

University of Palermo ( email )

Dipartimento di Fisica
Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 18
Palermo, PA I-90128
Italy
+3909123899074 (Phone)
+3909123860815 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ocs.unipa.it/Site/Rosario_Nunzio_Mantegna.html

Jerzy Sarnecki

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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