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Recent Immigrants: Unexpected Implications for Crime and Incarceration

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  • Kristin F. Butcher
  • Anne Morrison Piehl

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Recent Immigrants: Unexpected Implications for Crime and Incarceration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 654-679, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:51:y:1998:i:4:p:654-679
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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