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Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants

Listed author(s):
  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni
  • Paolo Pinotti

We exploit exogenous variation in legal status following the January 2007 European Union enlargement to estimate its effect on immigrant crime. We difference out unobserved time-varying factors by (i) comparing recidivism rates of immigrants from the "new" and "candidate" member countries; and (ii) using arrest data on foreign detainees released upon a mass clemency that occurred in Italy in August 2006. The timing of the two events allows us to setup a difference-in-differences strategy. Legal status leads to a 50 percent reduction in recidivism, and explains one-half to two-thirds of the observed differences in crime rates between legal and illegal immigrants. (JEL F22, K42, C41)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 175-206

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:175-206
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140039
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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