Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime?

43 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

San Diego State University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Cynthia Bansak

Saint Lawrence University - Department of Economics

Susan Pozo

Western Michigan University - Department of Economics

Abstract

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of refugees worldwide rose to 21.3 million in 2015. Yet, resistance to the welcoming of refugees appears to have grown. The possibility that refugees may commit acts of terrorism or engage in criminal behavior has served as fuel for the Trump Administration’s position in 2017. Is there any basis for these fears? We exploit the variation in the geographic and temporal distribution of refugees across U.S. counties to ascertain if there is a link between refugee settlements and local crime rates or terrorist events in the United States. We fail to find any statistically significant evidence of such a connection.

Keywords: refugees, crime, United States, terrorism

JEL Classification: F22, J61, J68

Suggested Citation

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina and Bansak, Cynthia and Pozo, Susan, Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11612. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3205900

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States
619-594-1663 (Phone)
619-594-5062 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Cynthia Bansak

Saint Lawrence University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Romoda Drive
Canton, NY 13617
United States

Susan Pozo

Western Michigan University - Department of Economics ( email )

1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States
269-387-5553 (Phone)
269-387-5637 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~pozo/

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