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Crime as a Price of Inequality? The Delinquency Gap between Children of Immigrants and Children of Native Swedes

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  • Hällsten, Martin

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Sarnecki, Jerzy

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Szulkin, Ryszard

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

Abstract

We examine the gap in registered crime between the children of immigrants and the children of native Swedes. Our study is the first in Sweden to address the role of family and environmental background in creating the gap in recorded crimes. Lack of resources within the family and/or in the broader social environment, particularly in neighborhoods and schools, generates higher risks for criminal activity in children, and if the children of immigrants to a larger extent are underprivileged in those resources, a gap in crime may occur. In the empirical analyses we follow all individuals who completed compulsory schooling during the period 1990 to 1993 in the Stockholm Metropolitan area (N=66,330), and we analyze how background factors related to the family of origin and neighborhood segregation during adolescence influence the gap in recorded crimes, which are measured in 2005. For males, we are generally able to explain between half and three-quarters of this gap in crime by parental socioeconomic resources and neighborhood segregation. For females, we can explain even more, sometimes the entire gap. Resources in the family of origin appear to be the strongest mediator. In addition, the residual differences are virtually unrelated to immigrants’ country of origin, indicating that ‘culture’ or other shared context-of-exit factors matter very little in generating the gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Hällsten, Martin & Sarnecki, Jerzy & Szulkin, Ryszard, 2011. "Crime as a Price of Inequality? The Delinquency Gap between Children of Immigrants and Children of Native Swedes," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:1, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2011_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew, 2009. "Like Godfather, Like Son: Explaining the Intergenerational Nature of Crime," Research Papers in Economics 2009:18, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    2. Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2010. "Jury Discrimination in Criminal Trials," Working Papers 671, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    4. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
    5. Gary Solon & Marianne E. Page & Greg J. Duncan, 2000. "Correlations Between Neighboring Children In Their Subsequent Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 383-392, August.
    6. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
    7. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
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    9. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Etnicitet & brottslighet: att se bakom hudfärgen
      by cbackman in Crime & Control on 2011-07-01 00:48:46

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; inequality; children of immigrants;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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