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Do Refugees Cause Crime?

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  • Aysegul Kayaoglu

    (Istanbul Technical University)

Abstract

The impact of immigration on crime continues to stir heated debates in public policy circles around the world whilst surveys indicate that host societies favor mitigating measures because they are concerned of what they perceive as an impingement on their security with each new wave of migration inflow. Whether there is any truth to such perceptions, however, remains a mystery for the case of developing countries since causal evidence is extremely limited. That those countries host the overwhelming majority of the global refugee population makes it paramount for researchers to supply the missing scientific link. Propelled by the magnitude of this need, this paper analyzes the impact of refugees on crime rates using the case of Turkey that hosts the world’s largest refugee population within any national borders. In doing so, it uses instrumental variables, Difference-in-Differences (DiD) and Staggered DiD methods to explain if the war-fleeing Syrian refugees pushed Turkey’s crime rates higher both in the short and the long-run. Controlling for various time-varying characteristics of provinces and presenting a battery of robustness checks against various identification threats, its findings show either null or negative effects of refugees on the incidence of criminal activity in the country.

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  • Aysegul Kayaoglu, 2021. "Do Refugees Cause Crime?," Working Papers 1470, Economic Research Forum, revised 20 Apr 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:1470
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysegül Kayaoglu & Ghassan Baliki & Tilman Brück & Melodie Al Daccache & Dorothee Weiffen, 2023. "How to conduct impact evaluations in humanitarian and conflict settings," HiCN Working Papers 387, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Lange, Martin & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2024. "Do refugees impact crime? Causal evidence from large-scale refugee immigration to Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    3. Ahmad AlShwawra, 2021. "Syrian Refugees’ Integration Policies in Jordanian Labor Market," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(13), pages 1-16, June.
    4. Ben Atta, Oussama & Chort, Isabelle & Senne, Jean Noël, 2022. "Immigration, integration, and the informal economy in OECD countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1197, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Michael Christian Lehmann, 2023. "Macroeconomic volatility and anti‐refugee violence in developing countries: Evidence from commodity price shocks," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 992-1012, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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