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Clicking on Heaven's Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime

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  • Paolo Pinotti

Abstract

We estimate the effect of immigrant legalization on the crime rate of immigrants in Italy by exploiting an ideal regression discontinuity design: fixed quotas of residence permits are available each year, applications must be submitted electronically on specific "click days," and are processed on a first come, first served basis until the available quotas are exhausted. Matching data on applications with individual-level criminal records, we show that legalization reduces the crime rate of legalized immigrants by 0.6 percentage points on average, on a baseline crime rate of 1.1 percent.

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  • Paolo Pinotti, 2017. "Clicking on Heaven's Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 138-168, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:1:p:138-68
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150355
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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