The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Crime and the City

  • Yves Zenou
Reference work entry


Crime is unevenly distributed across space and tends to be concentrated in poor areas. Recent theoretical advances show that social interactions and peer effects can explain this pattern because of contagion effects and social multipliers. An individual is more likely to commit crime if his or her peers commit crime than if they do not. Recent empirical findings suggest that, indeed, social interactions and networks are key to understand criminal behaviour in cities.


Becker, G. Black–white wage differences Bonacich centrality measure Contagion effects Cost–benefit analysis Crime and the city Crime rates Crime, economic theory of Social multiplier effects Social networks 

JEL Classifications

R29 A14 K42 R14 
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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Zenou
    • 1
  1. 1.