Immigrant Criminals


A new NBER paper shreds an old stereotype, reports Bryan Caplan:

Kristin Butcher and Anne Piehl shows that, despite their demographics, immigrants are drastically less criminal than native-born Americans… [G]iven their demographics, we should expect immigrants to commit crimes at double the native rate. But for some reason(s), demographics yield a massive overprediction; immigrants commit crimes at one-tenth the expected rate given their demographics. Yes, if immigrants acted like otherwise similar natives, they were be ten times as criminal as they actually are.

See Caplan’s post for more commentary and an ungated link to the working paper.


One Response to “Immigrant Criminals”

  1. pjgoober Says:

    See: Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment Among First- and Second-Generation Young Men

    By Rubén G. Rumbaut, Roberto G. Gonzales, Golnaz Komaie, and Charlie V. Morgan
    University of California, Irvine

    “Second Generation

    Incarceration rates increase significantly for all US-born coethnics without exception. That is most notable for Mexicans, whose incarceration rate increases more than eightfold to 5.9 percent among the US born; for Vietnamese (from 0.46 to 5.6 percent among the US born); and for the Laotians and Cambodians (from 0.92 percent to 7.26 percent, the highest of any group except for native blacks). Almost all of the US born among those of Latin American and Asian origin can be assumed to consist of second-generation persons, with the exception of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, whose numbers may include a sizable number (around 25 percent) of third-generation individuals. (Since 1980, when the questions on parents’ country of birth were dropped, the decennial census has not permitted the precise identification of second vs. third or higher generations.)

    Thus, while incarceration rates are found to be extraordinarily low among immigrants, they are also seen to rise rapidly by the second generation. Except for the Chinese and Filipinos, the rates of all US-born Latin American and Asian groups exceed that of the referent group of non-Hispanic white natives. ”
    http://www.migrationinformation….play.cfm? id=403

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