Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 697–736 | Cite as

Immigration and crime: evidence from victimization data

  • Luca NunziataEmail author
Original Paper


We exploit the increase in immigration flows into western European countries that took place in the 2000s to assess whether immigration affects crime victimization and the perception of criminality among European natives. Using data from the European Social Survey, the Labour Force Survey and other sources, we provide a set of fixed effects and instrumental variable estimations that deal with the endogenous sorting of immigration by region and with the sampling error in survey-based measures of regional immigration shares, whose implications in terms of attenuation bias are investigated by means of Monte Carlo simulations. Our empirical findings show that an increase in immigration does not affect crime victimization, but it is associated with an increase in the fear of crime, the latter being consistently and positively correlated with the natives’ unfavourable attitude toward immigrants. Our results reveal a misconception of the link between immigration and crime among European natives.


Crime Migration Victimization Perception Fear 

JEL Classifications

J15 J61 K42 F22 R23 O15 



The author is grateful for comments, advice and suggestions to Tommaso Frattini; three anonymous referees; seminar participants at the Centro Studi Economici Antonveneta workshop on Migration, University College London NORFACE Migration Conference, the ESPE Conference in Bern and the EALE Conference in Bonn; and to Veronica Toffolutti for research assistance. Financial support from Centro Studi Economici Antonveneta is gratefully acknowledged. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.IZABonnGermany

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