IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejapp/v7y2015i2p175-206.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants

Author

Listed:
  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni
  • Paolo Pinotti

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2015. "Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 175-206, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:175-206
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140039
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.20140039
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/ds/0702/2014-0039_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/0702/2014-0039_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Saul Lach, 2007. "Immigration and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 548-587, August.
    2. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
    3. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
    4. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2012. "Immigration, Wages, And Compositional Amenities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 78-119, February.
    5. Ann Dryden Witte, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84.
    6. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & Zafar M. Nasir, 2002. "The Effect of Naturalization on Wage Growth: A Panel Study of Young Male Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 568-597, July.
    7. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    8. Brian Bell & Francesco Fasani & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1278-1290, October.
    9. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati, 2012. "Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 199-218, April.
    10. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2011. "Migration Restrictions and Criminal Behavior: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 2011.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak & Steven Raphael, 2007. "Gender Differences in the Labor Market: Impact of IRCA," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 412-416, May.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    14. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Alessandro Barbarino & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2014. "The Incapacitation Effect of Incarceration: Evidence from Several Italian Collective Pardons," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 1-37, February.
    16. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
    17. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Piehl, 2009. "Immigration, crime, and incarceration in early twentieth-century america," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 739-763, November.
    18. Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2014. "Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 177-219.
    19. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
    20. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
    21. Chojnicki, Xavier & Docquier, Frédéric & Ragot, Lionel, 2005. "Should the U.S. Have Locked the Heaven's Door? Reassessing the Benefits of the Postwar Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 1676, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
    23. César Alonso-Borrego & Nuno Garoupa & Pablo Vázquez, 2012. "Does Immigration Cause Crime? Evidence from Spain," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 165-191.
    24. 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.
    25. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    26. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2007. "Immigration and Crime in Early 20th Century America," Departmental Working Papers 200704, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    27. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati & Pietro Vertova, 2009. "The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 257-280, April.
    28. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    29. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    30. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    31. Busso, Matias & DiNardo, John & McCrary, Justin, 2009. "New Evidence on the Finite Sample Properties of Propensity Score Matching and Reweighting Estimators," IZA Discussion Papers 3998, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2005. "Why are immigrants' incarceration rates so low? evidence on selective immigration, deterrence, and deportation," Working Paper Series WP-05-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    33. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2010. "Immigration and the Economic Status of African‐American Men," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(306), pages 255-282, April.
    34. Antonio Accetturo & Luigi Infante, 2010. "Immigrant Earnings in the Italian Labour Market," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(1), pages 1-28, April.
    35. Lozano, Fernando A. & Sorensen, Todd A., 2011. "The Labor Market Value to Legal Status," IZA Discussion Papers 5492, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    36. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    37. Eckaus, Richard S., 1961. "The North-South Differential In Italian Economic Development," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 285-317, September.
    38. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Cross-city evidence on the relationship between immigration and crime," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 457-493.
    39. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers 754, RAND Corporation.
    40. Winegarden, C R & Khor, Lay Boon, 1991. "Undocumented Immigration and Unemployment of U.S. Youth and Minority Workers: Econometric Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 105-112, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:175-206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.