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You know the deal with those immigrants ...

Ted Balaker
July 18, 2007, 10:03am

So many of them are illegal, so they've already shown that they have no respect for our laws. Plus they're young, poor, and can barely read--you just know they're out their stealing stereos or worse. We've heard that before, and it is true that being young, poor and uneducated is usually associated with higher levels of crime. But a new paper by Kristin Butcher and Anne Piehl finds that immigrants are actually much more law abiding than the native born: Bryan Caplan puts it like this: "[I]f immigrants acted like otherwise similar natives, they were be ten times as criminal as they actually are." Free version of paper here; newer NBER version here. Can we at least harangue immigrants for stealing our jobs and depressing our wages? A recent PPIC paper says no: PPIC study available here. Related: How immigration boosts wages Related: Queueless on Immigration

Ted Balaker is Producer


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