Safer cities: A macro-level analysis of recent immigration, hispanic-owned businesses, and crime rates in the United States

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

As the literature examining the relationship between immigration and crime continues to evolve, scholars are now searching for ways to expand this link conceptually. Hand in hand with immigration, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses has grown at rates far exceeding the growth rate for all US businesses over the past two decades, carrying the expectation of local and national government officials of bringing jobs and revenue back into the economy. Yet research on how this growth in minority-owned businesses can help explain ecological crime variation is scarce. This study examines the role of Hispanic-owned businesses in the relationship between immigration and total property and violent crime rates, confirming that cities with higher rates of new immigration are not associated with higher violent crime rates, and have significantly lower property crime rates. Additional analyses examining whether this relationship is mediated by the presence of Hispanic-owned businesses also yield empirical support. The presence of Hispanic-owned businesses was found to attenuate the new immigration-property crime relationship significantly, and to render the association of immigration and property crime rates nonsignificant. The implications of these findings will be discussed, in so far as they relate to both public policy and research on immigration and crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-518
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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