Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #737

The Refugee Wave to Germany and Its Impact on Crime

by Fabian Dehos

RGS, RUB, RWI, 12/2017, 41 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-857-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788857

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Abstract

Does refugee migration cause crime? I address this question drawing on recent refugee migration to Germany during the years 2010 to 2015. Based on administrative data records, I add to the literature by disentangling the direct crime impact of asylum seekers and recognized refugees separately. For the group of asylum seekers, I exploit dispersal policies and locational restrictions and find no impact on crime except for migrationspecific offenses. For the group of recognized refugees, who may endogenously move, I use a shift-share instrument and find a positive association between the share of recognized refugees and the overall crime rate, which is driven by non-violent property crimes and frauds. The empirical results prove robust along several robustness checks and are consistent with predictions of the Becker model.

JEL-Classification: F22, K42, J15

Keywords: Refugee migration; crime

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