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Immigration and crime: an empirical analysis

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Author Info

  • Milo Bianchi

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Paolo Buonanno

    ()
    (Università di Bergamo)

  • Paolo Pinotti

    ()
    (Banca d'Italia)

Abstract

In this paper we examine the empirical relationship between immigration and crime across Italian provinces during the period 1990-2003. Drawing on police data, we first document that the size of the immigrant population is positively correlated with the incidence of property crimes and with the overall crime rate. We then use instrumental variables based on migration towards other European countries to identify the causal impact of exogenous changes in the immigrant population of Italy. According to these estimates, immigration increases only the incidence of robberies and has no effect on all other types of crime. Since robberies represent a very small fraction of all criminal offences, the effect on the overall crime rate is not significantly different from zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 698.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_698_08

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Keywords: immigration; crime;

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References

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  1. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
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  9. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2007. "Immigration and Crime in Early 20th Century America," Departmental Working Papers 200704, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  16. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  17. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, skill mix, and the choice of technique," Working Papers 05-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  19. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sona Kalantaryan, 2013. "Housing Market Responses to Immigration; Evidence from Italy," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/83, European University Institute.
  2. Gaetano Lisi, 2010. "The Strange Case of Dr. “Unemployed” and Mr “Hidden” in Italy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 2802-2816.
  3. Talamo, Giuseppina Maria Chiara, 2010. "Immigrazione, criminalità e sviluppo economico: un’analisi economica sulla situazione in Italia
    [Immigration, crime and economic development: an economic analysis of the Italian situation]
    ," MPRA Paper 35859, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.

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