Does immigration cause crime? : evidence from Spain Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2012

start page

  • 165

end page

  • 191


  • 1


  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1465-7252

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1465-7260


  • The relationship between crime and immigration has been a matter of controversy in the United States and around the world. This paper investigates empirically the case of Spain. From 1999 to 2009, Spain had a large wave of immigration from different areas of the globe. At the same time, crime rates increased. However, in comparison with other European countries that received similar massive immigration waves during the same period, crime rates in Spain increased less considerably. We show that there is a significant relationship between crime and immigration. Nevertheless, the explanation is found in the specific characteristics of the different immigrant groups, particularly in the amount and type of human capital, which result is largely in tune with the previous studies on U.S. immigration and crime.