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Crime and Immigration: New Evidence from England and Wales

  • Laura Jaitman
  • Stephen Machin

We study a high profile public policy question on immigration, namely the link between crime and immigration, presenting new evidence from England and Wales in the 2000s. For studying immigration impacts, this period is of considerable interest as the composition of migration altered dramatically with the accession of Eastern European countries (the A8) to the European Union in 2004. As we show, this has important implications for ensuring a causal impact of immigration can be identified. When we are able to implement a credible research design with statistical power, we find no evidence of an average causal impact of immigration on criminal behavior, nor do we when we consider A8 and non-A8 immigration separately. We also study London by itself as the immigration changes in the capital city were very dramatic. Again, we find no causal impact of immigration on crime from our spatial econometric analysis and also present evidence from unique data on arrests of natives and immigrants which shows no immigrant differences in the likelihood of being arrested.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1238.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1238
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin & Francesco Fasani, 2010. "Crime and immigration: evidence from large immigrant waves," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28732, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Working Papers (-2012) 0801, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  4. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  5. Saiz, Albert, 2007. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 345-371, March.
  6. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan Barrett & Yvonne McCarthy, 2008. "Immigrants and Welfare Programmes: Exploring the Interactions between Immigrant Characteristics, Immigrant Welfare Dependence and Welfare Policy," Papers WP238, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  8. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
  9. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
  10. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. Philip J. Cook & Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2014. "Lessons from the economics of crime," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 410, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2010. "Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime," MPRA Paper 22864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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