Social interactions may explain the large variance in criminal activity across neighborhoods and time. We present direct evidence of social spillovers in crime using random variation in neighborhood residence along opposite sides of a newly drawn school boundary. We first show evidence for agglomeration effects—within small neighborhood areas, grouping more disadvantaged students together in the same school increases total crime. We then show that these youths are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together—to be "partners in crime". Our results show that neighborhood and school segregation increase crime by fostering social interactions between at-risk youth.
"Partners in Crime."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Education and Inequality
Education: Government Policy
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification