Arnaud Philippe (Toulouse School of Economics)

"Incarcerate one to calm the others?Spillover effects of incarceration among criminal groups"

22 January 2018, 12:00 pm

Job Market paper


Abstract: What is the effect of incarcerating one member of a group on her criminalpartners? I answer this question using administrative data on all convictions in France between2003 and 2012. I exploit past joint convictions to identify 34,000 groups. Using a 48-monthindividual panel that records later criminal activity and sentencing, I find that the incarcerationof a peer is associated with a 5% decrease in the conviction rate in groups of two individuals.Exploiting within-group heterogeneity, I show that offenders who have the characteristics ofleaders are not affected by their followers but exert influence on them. Lastly, I show that theeffect derives from lower criminogenic behavior and not from a loss of criminal human capitalor from better information on the risks associated with crime.