Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Moore School of Business

Sub-Department

Economics

First Advisor

McKinley L Blackburn

Abstract

Criminal activity has been widely connected to immigration, yet this connection has not been thoroughly analyzed in the economics literature. To examine this hypothesis, I estimate the relationship between state-level crime rates and the size of the foreign born population, and in particular, the Hispanic foreign-born population. Results from fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation show that, when looking at Hispanic immigrants, there is a negative correlation between immigrant size and violent crime rates. However, there is also evidence that immigration may lead to increases in property crime rates. This increase does not stem from Hispanic immigration, which actually exhibits a negative relationship with property crime rates. Other factors that also proved to be related to crime rates were racial composition of the population, unemployment rates, and the population's educational level. Conclusively, although the general immigrant population appears to increase property crime rates, an increase in the Hispanic component of this population shows a definite decrease in all crime rates.

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