The Effect of Internal Migration on Crime and Violence: Evidence From Indonesia

Brian Feld
Marieke Kleemans , University of Illinois

We estimate the causal effect of internal migration on crime in Indonesia, combining detailed longitudinal location data from over 30,000 individuals with crime information from two million subnational newspapers over the course of 10 years. To address endogeneity in the choice to migrate, we instrument the share of migrants in a destination with rainfall shocks at the origin locations from where the migrants arrive. While OLS estimates suggest a positive and quantitatively small association between migration and both violent and economically motivated crime rates, estimation using instrumental variables indicates that migration causes an increase only on certain economic crimes. This is consistent with the existing literature on the effect of international migration to developed countries, but the effect is larger: a 1% increase in the proportion of migrants in the population, leads to a 4 percentage increase in economically motivated crimes.

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 Presented in Session 78. Internal Migration