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CEP discussion paper

Crime and Immigration: New Evidence from England and Wales


We study a high profile public policy question on immigration, namely the link between crime and immigration, presenting new evidence from England and Wales in the 2000s. For studying immigration impacts, this period is of considerable interest as the composition of migration altered dramatically with the accession of Eastern European countries (the A8) to the European Union in 2004. As we show, this has important implications for ensuring a causal impact of immigration can be identified. When we are able to implement a credible research design with statistical power, we find no evidence of an average causal impact of immigration on criminal behavior, nor do we when we consider A8 and non-A8 immigration separately. We also study London by itself as the immigration changes in the capital city were very dramatic. Again, we find no causal impact of immigration on crime from our spatial econometric analysis and also present evidence from unique data on arrests of natives and immigrants which shows no immigrant differences in the likelihood of being arrested.


Laura Jaitman and Stephen Machin

3 September 2013     Paper Number CEPDP1238

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Community Wellbeing programme.