Immigration and Crime: A Microeconometric Study

Papadopoulos, Georgios (2012) Immigration and Crime: A Microeconometric Study. Doctoral thesis, University of Essex.

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Although the relationship between immigration and crime has been a very controversial subject in the UK, the empirical evidence is limited. This thesis intends to narrow this gap by providing a comprehensive investigation for England and Wales of immigrants’ both active and passive involvement in criminal activities.

Before exploring the aforementioned relationship, Chapter 1 discusses and provides solutions to an identification issue that afflicts leading models for under-reported count data. It also provides some tips for practitioners who intend to use these models in applied research. These findings are important for this thesis, since estimators that deal with under-reporting are considered in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 studies the individual-level relationship between immigration and crime using self-reported crime data. Although this work focuses on property crime, violent crime is also considered. Both binary and count data models that account for under-reporting are used, since under-reporting is a concern in crime self-reports. Our findings suggest that, if anything, immigrants under-report by less than natives. Most importantly, these models predict that after controlling for under-reporting and basic demographics, immigrants are less involved in criminal activities, but the estimated difference is statistically insignificant. Nevertheless, an extensive sensitivity analysis indicates that this estimate is very robust, suggesting that this relationship exists, but data limitations and complexities of the considered models reduce the precision of the estimated coefficient.

Finally, Chapter 3 comprehensively examines whether victimization experiences are different between immigrants and natives. Very interestingly, although observed demographic differences can explain the positive property crime victimization-immigration differentials, unobserved factors give rise to a negative association between immigration and violent victimization. All results suggest that this is due to immigrants’ lifestyle choices associated with lower victimization risks. As will be explained throughout Chapter 3, this finding is consistent with the findings of Chapter 2.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Georgios Papadopoulos
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2013 12:06
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2013 12:06


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