Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?

Author(s): Lung-Fei Lee, Xiaodong Liu, Eleonora Patacchini and Yves Zenou

Publication Date: January 2012

Keyword(s): Bonacich centrality, crime policies and dynamic network formation

Programme Area(s): Public Economics

Abstract: We analyze delinquent networks of adolescents in the United States. We develop a dynamic network formation model showing who the key player is, i.e. the criminal who once removed generates the highest possible reduction in aggregate crime level. We then structurally estimate 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. 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.

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Bibliographic Reference

Lee, L, Liu, X, Patacchini, E and Zenou, Y. 2012. 'Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.