Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1829368
 
 

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Effects of Immigrant Legalization on Crime: The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act


Scott R. Baker


Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Department of Finance

July 28, 2014

Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 412

Abstract:     
I examine the effects that the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which legalized almost 3 million immigrants, had on crime in the United States. I exploit the IRCA's quasi-random timing as well as geographic variation in the intensity of treatment to isolate causal impacts. I find decreases in crime of 2%-6%, primarily due to decline in property crimes, equivalent to 80,000-240,000 fewer violent and property crimes committed each year due to legalization. I calibrate a labor market model of crime, finding that much of the drop in crime can be explained by greater labor market opportunities among applicants.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: Immigration, Crime, Policy, Amnesty, Legalization, Legal Status

JEL Classification: F22, J22, J61, K37, K42


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Date posted: May 4, 2011 ; Last revised: August 1, 2014

Suggested Citation

Baker, Scott R., Effects of Immigrant Legalization on Crime: The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (July 28, 2014). Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 412. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1829368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1829368

Contact Information

Scott R. Baker (Contact Author)
Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Department of Finance ( email )
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
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