Do Immigrants Import Terrorism?

Cato Institute Working Paper, No. 56, 2019

Forthcoming, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

30 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2020

See all articles by Andrew Forrester

Andrew Forrester

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Benjamin Powell

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute; Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business

Alex Nowrasteh

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Michelangelo Landgrave

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 31, 2019

Abstract

The relationship between immigration and terrorism is an important public policy concern. Using bilateral migration data for 174 countries from 1995 to 2015, we estimate the relationship between levels of immigration and terrorism using an instrumental variables (IV) strategy based on the initial distribution of immigrants in destination countries. We specifically investigate rates of immigration from Muslim Majority Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries and countries engaged in conflicts. We find no relationship between stocks of immigrants and terrorism, whether measured by the number of attacks or victims, in destination countries.

Keywords: immigration, terrorism, MENA, Muslim Majority Middle Eastern and North African countries, immigration rates, international security

JEL Classification: F22, F5, F50, F51, F52, F3

Suggested Citation

Forrester, Andrew and Powell, Benjamin and Nowrasteh, Alex and Landgrave, Michelangelo, Do Immigrants Import Terrorism? (July 31, 2019). Cato Institute Working Paper, No. 56, 2019, Forthcoming, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3501145

Andrew Forrester (Contact Author)

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ( email )

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Benjamin Powell

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute ( email )

Box 45059
Lubbock, TX 79409-5059
United States
806.742.7138 (Phone)
806.742.1854 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fmi.ttu.edu

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States
806.834.3097 (Phone)
806.742.1854 (Fax)

Alex Nowrasteh

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

Michelangelo Landgrave

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Riverside, CA 92521
United States

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