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Title:Migration restrictions and criminal behavior: Evidence from a natural experiment PDF Logo
Authors:Mastrobuoni, Giovanni
Pinotti, Paolo
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Nota di lavoro // Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei: Economy and Society 53.2011
Abstract:We estimate the causal effect of immigrants' legal status on criminal behavior exploiting exogenous variation in migration restrictions across nationalities driven by the last round of the European Union enlargement. Unique individual-level data on a collective clemency bill enacted in Italy five months before the enlargement allow us to compare the post-release criminal record of inmates from new EU member countries with a control group of pardoned inmates from candidate EU member countries. Difference-in-differences in the probability of re-arrest between the two groups before and after the enlargement show that obtaining legal status lowers the recidivism of economically motivated offenders, but only in areas that provide relatively better labor market opportunities to legal immigrants. We provide a search-theoretic model of criminal behavior that is consistent with these results.
Subjects:Immigration
Crime
Legal Status
JEL:F22
K42
C41
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:FEEM Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

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