Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann
Immigration is frequently mentioned as one of the most important issues facing politicians in advanced economies. Often this appears related to the commonly expressed concern that immigrants harm the labor market prospects of natives. This concern has received substantial, and sometimes controversial, attention in the academic labor economics literature (see, inter alia, Borjas, 1999; Card, 2005, 2009). However, it also reflects a wider concern over the impact of large immigration flows on other aspects of society. Issues of relevance here cover competition for education and health services, congestion, housing demand, cultural identity and crime. The latter forms the focus of this chapter. There is a currently only a sparse, though growing, academic literature in economics examining evidence on crime and immigration. This seems surprising given that the economic and social costs of crime are usually estimated to be large, so any link between immigration and crime should be of significant concern to researchers and to policy-makers alike. We begin this chapter by examining some opinion poll evidence across a group of advanced countries on attitudes to immigration and views on the impact of immigration on society.
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