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Crime, Immigration and the Labor Market: A General Equilibrium Model

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  • Thomas Bassetti, Luca Corazzini, Darwin Cortes

Abstract

Does immigration cause crime? To answer this question, we build a two-country general equilibrium model with search costs in which the migration (in/out-)flows, the crime rates and the equilibrium wages in the two countries are determined by the interaction between the labor market, the crime market and the decision to migrate. The main result of our model is that, in equilibrium, the relationship between immigration and crime depends on the conditions of both the labor and crime markets of the two countries. In particular, when the tightness of the labor market is sufficiently elastic relative to that of the crime market, immigration causes a reduction in the domestic crime rate of the host country. An implication of this result is that migration flows from countries with strong work rigidities to societies characterized by more elastic labor markets are mutually benefic in terms of reducing the corresponding crime rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Bassetti, Luca Corazzini, Darwin Cortes, 2010. "Crime, Immigration and the Labor Market: A General Equilibrium Model," ISLA Working Papers 38, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:slp:islawp:islawp38
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1318-1347, December.
    2. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cesar Alonso & Nuno Garoupa & Marcelo Perera & Pablo Vazquez, 2008. "Immigration and Crime in Spain, 1999-2006," Working Papers 2008-34, FEDEA.
    4. Engelhardt, Bryan & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Rupert, Peter, 2008. "Crime and the labor market: A search model with optimal contracts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1876-1891, October.
    5. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
    6. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2007. "Immigration and Crime in Early 20th Century America," Departmental Working Papers 200704, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime Rate; Labor Market; Immigration.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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