Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour

26 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2003

See all articles by Antoni Calvo-Armengol

Antoni Calvo-Armengol

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Economics; 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)

Date Written: July 2003

Abstract

We develop a model in which delinquents compete with each other in criminal activities but may benefit from being friends with other criminals (by learning and acquiring proper know-how in the crime business). We first study the Nash equilibrium of this game by taking the social network connecting agents as given. We show that this game always has a pure strategy Nash equilibrium for generic values of the parameters. Ex ante identical individuals connected through a network can end up with very different equilibrium outcomes: either employed, or isolated criminal or criminals in networks. We also show that multiple equilibria with different number of active criminals and levels of involvement in crime activities may coexist and are only driven by the geometry of the pattern of links connecting criminals. We then consider a two-stage network formation and crime decisions game. We show that the multiplicity of equilibrium outcomes holds even when we allow for endogenous network formation.

Keywords: Crime, social networks, strategic interactions, multiple equilibria

JEL Classification: C72, K42

Suggested Citation

Calvo-Armengol, Antoni and Zenou, Yves, Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behaviour (July 2003). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3966. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=439520

Antoni Calvo-Armengol

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Bellaterra
Barcelona, 08193
Spain
+34 93 581 3068 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Yves Zenou (Contact Author)

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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