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Legal status and the criminal activity of immigrants

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  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni
  • Paolo Pinotti

Abstract

We present a theoretical model of immigration and crime in which legal status raises the opportunity cost of crime, illegal immigrants may be deported, and there is endogenous selection into legal status. We estimate the model exploiting administrative records on the universe of prison inmates pardoned with a clemency bill in Italy on August 2006, and exogenous variation in legal status after the European Union enlargement of January 2007. The causal e ect of legal status amounts to a 50% reduction in recidivism, and explains 1/2 to 2/3 of the observed di erences in crime rates between legal and illegal immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Legal status and the criminal activity of immigrants," Working Papers 052, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Monica Langella & Alan Manning, 2016. "Diversity and Neighbourhood Satisfaction," CEP Discussion Papers dp1459, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Joan Monras & Javier Vázquez-Grenno & Ferran Elias, 2017. "Understanding the Effects of Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1708, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Simone Cremaschi & Carlo Devillanova, 2016. "Immigrants and Legal Status: Do Personal Contacts Matter?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1629, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Yongzheng Liu & Jie Mao, 2017. "How do Tax Incentives Affect Investment and Productivity? Firm-Level Evidence from China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1716, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Dagnelie, Olivier & Mayda, Anna Maria & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2018. "The labor market integration of refugees to the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Zhang, Yinjunjie & Palma, Marco A. & Xu, Zhicheng Phil, 2016. "Unintended effects of the Alabama HB 56 immigration law on crime: A preliminary analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 68-71.
    7. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2017. "The Political Cost of Being Soft on Crime: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 12097, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Junxue Jia & Cong Qin & Yongzheng Liu, 2017. "Do Community-Based Development Projects Alleviate Poverty? Evidence from Rural China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1722, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    9. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati & Francesco Sobbrio, 2017. "Voters' Response to Public Policies: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6826, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Zhang, Yinjuejie & Palma, Marco & Xu, Zhicheng, 2016. "Effects of the Alabama HB 56 Immigration Law on Crime: A Synthetic Control Approach," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229780, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Devillanova, Carlo & Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso, 2014. "Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program," IZA Discussion Papers 8151, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Comino, Stefano & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Nicolò, Antonio, 2016. "Silence of the Innocents: Illegal Immigrants' Underreporting of Crime and their Victimization," IZA Discussion Papers 10306, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:117-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Luca Nunziata, 2015. "Immigration and crime: evidence from victimization data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 697-736, July.
    15. Pin, Paolo & Rogers, Brian W., 2015. "Cooperation, punishment and immigration," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 72-101.
    16. Guriev, Sergei & Speciale, Biagio & Tuccio, Michele, 2016. "How do regulated and unregulated labor markets respond to shocks? Evidence from immigrants during the Great Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 11403, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:43 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Comino, Stefano & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Nicolò, Antonio, 2016. "Silence of the Innocents: Illegal Immigrants' Underreporting of Crime and their Victimization," IZA Discussion Papers 10306, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; crime; legal status;

    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

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