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Immigrant Enclaves and Crime

Author

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  • Bell, Brian

    () (King's College London)

  • Machin, Stephen

    () (London School of Economics)

Abstract

There is conflicting evidence on the consequences of immigrant neighbourhood segregation for individual outcomes, with various studies finding positive, negative or insubstantial effects. In this paper, we document the evolution of immigrant segregation in England over the last 40 years. We show that standard measures of segregation point to gentle declines over time for all immigrant groups. However, this hides a significant increase in the number of immigrant enclaves where immigrants account for a substantial fraction of the local population. We then explore the link between immigrant segregation, enclaves and crime using both recorded crime and self-reported crime victimization data. Controlling for a rich set of observables, we find that crime is substantially lower in those neighbourhoods with sizeable immigrant population shares. The effect is non-linear and only becomes significant in enclaves. It is present for both natives and immigrants living in such neighbourhoods. Considering different crime types, the evidence suggests that such neighbourhoods benefit from a reduction in more minor, non-violent crimes. We discuss possible mechanisms for the results we observe.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, Brian & Machin, Stephen, 2011. "Immigrant Enclaves and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 6205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P. & Aslund, O., 2000. "Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Papers 2000-21, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    2. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
    3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 478-497.
    4. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, April.
    5. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    6. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Brian Bell & Francesco Fasani & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1278-1290, October.
    8. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georgios Papadopoulos, 2014. "Immigration status and property crime: an application of estimators for underreported outcomes," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, December.
    2. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Douglas Webber & Jody L. Sindelar, 2013. "The Roles of Assimilation and Ethnic Enclave Residence in Immigrant Smoking," NBER Working Papers 19753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. José Fernández & Matteo Pazzona, 2015. "Evaluating the Spillover Effects of the Plan Colombia in Ecuador," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/667, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Douglas Webber & Jody L. Sindelar, 2015. "Immigration and access to fringe benefits: Evidence from the Tobacco Use Supplements," DETU Working Papers 1503, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    5. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Immigration and crime," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 19, pages 353-372 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    enclaves; immigrant segregation; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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