Border Walls and Crime: Evidence From the Secure Fence Act
39 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 6, 2019
Despite a lack of rigorous empirical evidence, reduced crime is often touted as a potential benefit in the debate over increasing border infrastructure (i.e. border walls). This paper examines the effect of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which led to unprecedented barrier construction along the US-Mexico border, on local crime using geospatial data on dates and locations of border wall construction. Synthetic control estimates across twelve border counties find no systematic evidence that border infrastructure reduced property or violent crime rates in the counties in which it was built.
Keywords: border walls, crime, migration, synthetic control
JEL Classification: K42, H54, F22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation