Does immigration cause crime? : evidence from Spain
The relationship between crime and immigration has been a matter of controversy in the US and around the world. This paper investigates empirically the case of Spain. From 1999 to 2009, Spain has had a large wave of immigration from different areas of the globe. At the same time, crime rates have increased. However, by comparison with other European countries that have received similar massive immigration waves during the same period, crime rates in Spain have increased less considerably. We show that there is a significant relationship between crime and immigration. Nevertheless, the explanation is found in the specific characteristics of the different immigration groups, particularly in the amount and type of human capital, which is a result largely in tune with previous studies on US immigration and crime.