CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mastrobuoni & Pinotti on Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants

Giovanni Mastrobuoni and Paolo Pinotti (University of Essex - Department of Economics and Bocconi University - BAFFI Center on International Markets, Money, and Regulation) have posted Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

We exploit exogenous variation in legal status following the January 2007 European Union enlargement to estimate its effect on immigrant crime. We difference out unobserved time-varying factors by 1) comparing recidivism rates of immigrants from the “new” and “candidate” member countries and 2) using arrest data on foreign detainees released upon a mass clemency that occurred in Italy in August 2006. The timing of the two events allows us to set up a difference-in-differences strategy. Legal status leads to a 50 percent reduction in recidivism and explains one-half to two-thirds of the observed differences in crime rates between legal and illegal immigrants.

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