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Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves

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Author Info

  • Bell, Brian

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Machin, Stephen

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Fasani, Francesco

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between immigration and crime in a setting where large migration flows offer an opportunity to carefully appraise whether the populist view that immigrants cause crime is borne out by rigorous evidence. We consider possible crime effects from two large waves of immigration that recently occurred in the UK. The first of these was the late 1990s/early 2000s wave of asylum seekers, and the second the large inflow of workers from EU accession countries that took place from 2004. A simple economics of crime model, when dovetailed with facts about the relative labour market position of these migrant groups, suggests net returns to criminal activity are likely to be very different for the two waves. In fact, we show that the first wave led to a small rise in property crime, whilst the second wave had no such impact. There was no observable effect on violent crime for either wave. Nor were immigrant arrest rates different to natives. Evidence from victimization data also suggests that the changes in crime rates during the immigrant waves cannot be ascribed to crimes against immigrants. Overall, our findings suggest that focusing on the limited labour market opportunities of asylum seekers could have beneficial effects on crime rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4996.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, 95, 1278-90
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4996

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Keywords: immigration; crime;

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References

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  1. Åslund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Timothy Hatton, 2008. "The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?," CEPR Discussion Papers 577, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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  8. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
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  10. David Card, 1997. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," NBER Working Papers 5927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Recent immigrants: Unexpected implications for crime and incarceration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 654-679, July.
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  16. repec:pse:psecon:2008-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  18. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Do immigrants cause crime?," Working Papers halshs-00586864, HAL.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Immigrants and crime
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-07-26 14:19:00
  2. Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-06-30 09:49:26
  3. Brottsliga invandrare?
    by Niclas Berggren in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-08-04 03:13:47
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2012. "The Crime – Immigration Nexus: Evidence from Recent Research," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(1), pages 48-54, 04.
  2. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Legal status and the criminal activity of immigrants," Working Papers 052, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  3. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2011. "Immigrant Enclaves and Crime," CEP Discussion Papers dp1104, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Verena Dill, 2013. "Ethnic Concentration and Extreme Right-Wing Voting Behavior in West Germany," Research Papers in Economics 2013-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  5. Crawley, Heaven & Drinkwater, Stephen & Kauser, Rukhsana, 2013. "Regional Variations in Attitudes Towards Refugees: Evidence from Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 7647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Stuart Campbell, 2013. "Over-education among A8 migrants in the UK," DoQSS Working Papers 13-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  7. Charlotte Geay & Sandra McNally & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2012. "Non-Native Speakers Of English In The Classroom: What Are The Effects On Pupil Performance?," CEE Discussion Papers 0137, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  8. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Josep Raya-Vílchez, 2013. "Housing prices and crime perception," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 305-321, August.
  9. Camille Hémet, 2013. "The Local Determinants of Victimization," Working Papers halshs-00873530, HAL.
  10. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2011. "Legal status of immigrants and criminal behavior: evidence from a natural experiment," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 813, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  11. Entorf, Horst, 2013. "Criminal Victims, Victimized Criminals, or Both? A Deeper Look at the Victim-Offender Overlap," IZA Discussion Papers 7686, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Scott Baker, 2013. "Effects of Immigrant Legalization on Crime: The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act," Discussion Papers 12-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  13. Laura Jaitman & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: New Evidence from England and Wales," CEP Discussion Papers dp1238, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2011. "Migration Restrictions and Criminal Behavior: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 208, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  15. Speciale, Biagio, 2012. "Does immigration affect public education expenditures? Quasi-experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 773-783.
  16. Verena Dill, 2013. "Ethnic Concentration and Extreme Right-Wing Voting Behavior in West Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 565, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  17. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh & Isabel Ruiz & Carlos Vargas-Silva & Roger Zetter, 2012. "Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement : Volume 1. A Mixed Methods Approach," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16096, The World Bank.
  18. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Chiara, 2014. "The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 7922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Matteo Gomellini & Cormac O' Grada, 2011. "Outward and Inward Migrations in Italy: A Historical Perspective," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 08, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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