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Community multiculturalism and self-reported immigrant crime: Testing three theoretical mechanisms

Author

Listed:
  • Leerkes, Arjen

    (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Fokkema, Tineke

    (NIDI, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and University of Groningen)

  • Bening, Jonathan

Abstract

There is considerable contextual variation in crime among immigrants and their native-born descendants, and this study aims to understand that variation better. It examines whether municipal variation in self-reported crimes among Turkish- and Moroccan-Dutch men living in 35 representative Dutch cities (N=911), including the four largest cities, is associated with municipal variation in multicultural attitudes, or 'community multiculturalism', among the native-Dutch (N=2,556). We propose, and test, a mechanism-based theoretical model that links Berry's acculturation theory to general strain theory, social bonding theory, and collective efficacy theory. Evidence is found for a protective effect of community multiculturalism for immigrant crime, which is mostly explained by collective efficacy theory with somewhat weaker evidence for general strain theory and social bonding theory. We discuss implications for the discussion on the (dis)advantages of multiculturalism, and suggest various avenues for further inquiry into immigrants' 'context of reception', and how the acculturation attitudes among established groups affect social cohesion outcomes in multi-ethnic societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Leerkes, Arjen & Fokkema, Tineke & Bening, Jonathan, 2020. "Community multiculturalism and self-reported immigrant crime: Testing three theoretical mechanisms," MERIT Working Papers 2020-055, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2020055
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    File URL: https://unu-merit.nl/publications/wppdf/2020/wp2020-055.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Irene Bloemraad & Matthew Wright, 2014. "“Utter Failure” or Unity out of Diversity? Debating and Evaluating Policies of Multiculturalism," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 292-334, September.
    2. Piopiunik, Marc & Ruhose, Jens, 2017. "Immigration, regional conditions, and crime: Evidence from an allocation policy in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 258-282.
    3. Maxwell, Rahsaan, 2019. "Cosmopolitan Immigration Attitudes in Large European Cities: Contextual or Compositional Effects?," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 456-474, May.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    acculturation theory; immigrant crime; context of reception; local-level variation; migration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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