56th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Cities & Regions: Smart, Sustainable, Inclusive?", 23-26 August 2016, Vienna, Austria
The abolishment of passport and any other type of border controls at the German-Polish and German-Czech border in December 2007 provoked public concerns that open border would increase cross-border crime. Despite these widespread concerns, there is still little research on whether the public fears were justified. The paper evaluates the extent to which the implementation of the Schengen Agreement in Poland and the Czech Republic in 2007 affected crime rates in German regions bordering these two countries. Effects are identified by regression-adjusted difference-in-difference estimation on matched samples that allows evaluating the Schengen effects in a causal way. Preliminary results show that no significant Schengen effect can be observed for the most common types of criminal offense. This indicates that crime patterns did not change after the implementation of the Schengen Agreement in a statistically significant way. These findings suggest that in contrast to public concerns, border regions have not experienced an increase in crime as a result of Schengen. In light of the current discussion on the future of the Schengen zone and borderless Europe, this is quite an important, indicatory result.
Crime Rates Border Regions Schengen Agreement Open Borders