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IMMIGRANT ENCLAVES AND CRIME

Authors


  • We would like to thank the editors, two referees and participants in the November 2011 conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and a CEP seminar for a number of helpful comments and suggestions. Kory Kantenga provided invaluable research assistance. This research was funded in part by the Economic and Social Research Council. Data from the BCS was provided by the ESRC Data Archive and the Home Office.

Abstract

ABSTRACT We study the link between neighborhood immigrant concentration and crime in England. Over previous decades there has been a significant increase in the number of immigrant enclaves, where immigrants account for a substantial fraction of the local population. Using both recorded crime and self-reported crime victimization data, we find that crime is significantly lower in those neighborhoods with sizeable immigrant population shares. The effect is nonlinear and only becomes significant in enclaves. The crime reducing effect is substantially enhanced if the enclave is composed of immigrants from the same ethnic background. We discuss some possible mechanisms for the results we observe.

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