We investigate the effects of civic norms and associational networks on crime rates. Civic norms may attach guilt and shame to criminal behavior, thus increasing its opportunity cost. Associational networks may increase returns to noncriminal activities and raise detection probabilities, but they may also work as communication channels for criminals and may offer official cover to criminal activities. The empirical assessment of these effects poses serious problems of endogeneity, omitted variables, measurement error, and spatial correlation. Italy's great variance in social and economic characteristics, its homogeneity in policies and institutions, and the availability of historical data on social capital in its regions allow us to minimize the first two problems. To tackle the last two problems, we use report-rate-adjusted crime rates and estimate a spatial lag model. We find that both civic norms and associational networks have a negative and significant effect on property crimes across Italian provinces.

Does social capital reduce crime?

BUONANNO, Paolo
2009-01-01

Abstract

We investigate the effects of civic norms and associational networks on crime rates. Civic norms may attach guilt and shame to criminal behavior, thus increasing its opportunity cost. Associational networks may increase returns to noncriminal activities and raise detection probabilities, but they may also work as communication channels for criminals and may offer official cover to criminal activities. The empirical assessment of these effects poses serious problems of endogeneity, omitted variables, measurement error, and spatial correlation. Italy's great variance in social and economic characteristics, its homogeneity in policies and institutions, and the availability of historical data on social capital in its regions allow us to minimize the first two problems. To tackle the last two problems, we use report-rate-adjusted crime rates and estimate a spatial lag model. We find that both civic norms and associational networks have a negative and significant effect on property crimes across Italian provinces.
journal article - articolo
2009
Vanin, Paolo; Montolio, Daniel; Buonanno, Paolo
File allegato/i alla scheda:
File Dimensione del file Formato  
2009_JLE.pdf

Solo gestori di archivio

Descrizione: publisher's version - versione dell'editore
Dimensione del file 626.15 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
626.15 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Aisberg ©2008 Servizi bibliotecari, Università degli studi di Bergamo | Terms of use/Condizioni di utilizzo

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/22787
Citazioni
  • Scopus 225
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 200
social impact