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Recent immigrants: Unexpected implications for crime and incarceration

  • Kristin F. Butcher
  • Anne Morrison Piehl

This analysis of data from the 5% 1980 and 1990 Public Use Microdata Samples shows that among 18-40-year-old men in the United States, immigrants were less likely than the native-born to be institutionalized (that is, in correctional facilities, mental hospitals, or other institutions), and much less likely to be institutionalized than native-born men with similar demographic characteristics. Furthermore, earlier immigrants were more likely to be institutionalized than were more recent immigrants. Although all immigrant cohorts appear to have assimilated toward the higher institutionalization rates of the native-born as their time in the country increased, the institutionalization rates of recent immigrants did not increase as quickly as would be predicted from the experience of earlier immigrant cohorts. These results contradict what one would predict from the literature on immigrant earnings, which suggests that more recent immigrants have worse permanent labor market characteristics than earlier immigrants. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 654-679

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:51:y:1998:i:4:p:654-679
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  1. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Francine D. Blau, 1991. "The Fertility of Immigrant Women: Evidence from High Fertility Source Countries," NBER Working Papers 3608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sherrie A. Kossoudji, 1989. "Immigrant Worker Assimilation: Is It a Labor Market Phenomenon?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 494-527.
  9. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  11. Kristin F. Butcher, 1994. "Black immigrants in the United States: A comparison with native blacks and other immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 265-284, January.
  12. Janet Currie, 1995. "Do Children of Immigrants Make Differential Use of Public Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 5388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  15. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
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