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The Importance of Family Background and Neighborhood Effects in Determinants of Crime
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We quantify the importance of family background and neighborhood effects as determinants of criminal convictions and incarceration by estimating sibling and neighborhood correlations. At the extensive margin, factors common to siblings account for 24 percent of the variation in criminal convictions and 39 percent of the variation in incarceration. At the intensive margin, these factors typically account for slightly less than half of the variation in prison sentence length and between one-third and one-half of the variation in criminal convictions, depending on crime type and gender. Neighborhood correlations, on the other hand, are quite small. We, therefore, conclude that these large sibling correlations are most likely generated by family influences and not by neighborhood influences. Further analysis shows that parental criminality and family structure contribute more to sibling similarities in crime than parental income and education or neighborhood characteristics. The lions’ share of the sibling crime correlations, however, are unexplained by these factors. Finally, sibling spacing also matters – more closely spaced siblings are more similar in their criminal behavior

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: CEPR , 2014.
Series
CEPR Discussion Paper Series, 9911
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112492OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-112492DiVA: diva2:779278
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2015-01-12 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved

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