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The link between migratory background and crime perceptions. A repeated cross-sectional analysis with household data

Bortoletto, Gianluca (2022): The link between migratory background and crime perceptions. A repeated cross-sectional analysis with household data.

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Abstract

The link between immigration and the crime rates, especially in the host countries, has been extensively studied in the previous literature. In this study, I explore how country of birth and citizenship at individual-level, defined as EU, non-EU or native (e.g., a person living in Italy who is born in another EU country will be categorised as a EU-born, non-EU if born in a non-EU country and native if born in Italy and the same holds for citizenship) affect crime perceptions at household-level. I explore this research question in a repeated cross-sectional framework using data form the European Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for a pool of European countries over the period 2004-10. I also consider the interaction effect of citizenship and country of birth with other variables that the literature predicts to be relevant in affecting crime rates. I do not find evidence of a significant impact of country of birth or citizenship on crime. Also, while other factors, such as socio-economic status, population density in the area of living and others, are significant and present a robust effect on crime perceptions, the effect of country of birth and citizenship and of their interaction terms is very context-dependent and not robust to different specifications. Further research should be conducted perhaps combining household data with the characteristics of the neighbourhood where the household lives.

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