Exporting Murder: US Deportations & the Spread of Violence

33 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2018 Last revised: 29 Nov 2018

See all articles by Christian Ambrosius

Christian Ambrosius

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Institute of Latin American Studies

David A. Leblang

University of Virginia; University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences; University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics; University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Date Written: August 21, 2018

Abstract

Existing literature on cross-national variation in violence has paid little attention to the transnational transmission of crime. One such channel are the forced returns of migrants with a criminal record in their countries of temporary residence. Responding to this research gap, we study the effect of US deportations of convicts on levels of violent crime in deportees’ countries of origin for a cross-country panel of up to 123 countries covering the years 2003 to 2015. We find a strong and robust effect of criminal deportations on homicide rates in countries of origin, that is to a large degree driven by deportations towards Latin America and the Caribbean. An additional inflow of ten deportees with a criminal history per 100,000 increases expected homicide rates by more than two. In addition to controlling for country specific fixed effects, we provide evidence on a causal effect using an instrumental variable approach, that exploits spatial and time variation in migrant populations’ exposure to state level immigration policies in the US.

Keywords: Return Migration, Deportation, Homicide, Latin America

JEL Classification: F22

Suggested Citation

Ambrosius, Christian and Leblang, David A., Exporting Murder: US Deportations & the Spread of Violence (August 21, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3213383 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3213383

Christian Ambrosius (Contact Author)

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Institute of Latin American Studies ( email )

Ruedesheimer Str. 54-56
Berlin, 14197
Germany

David A. Leblang

University of Virginia ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

VA
United States

University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

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