Street Crime and Street Culture

26 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2004

See all articles by Dan Silverman

Dan Silverman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Economics Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)


A model shows how reputation concerns can support widespread street crime, a street culture, where the direct incentives for such behavior are weak. There are social benefits to street reputations, but those benefits are dominated when reputation concerns draw into crime those who obtain no direct gain from it. The model matches facts about violent crime that a standard model cannot easily explain including low monetary returns, disproportionate victimization of the young and poor, and high variance in rates across small distances. The model generates novel implications for policy and social science, including a negative effect of social capital.

Suggested Citation

Silverman, Dan, Street Crime and Street Culture. International Economic Review, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 761-786, August 2004. Available at SSRN:

Dan Silverman (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Economics Department ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-764-2447 (Phone)
734-764-2769 (Fax)


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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