How are children affected by growing up in a neighbourhood with many young criminals? Does this increase the likelihood that they themselves will turn to crime? It is particularly difficult to measure the effects of growing up in a neighbourhood where many young criminals live, since it may be that families in which children are already at risk for other reasons of become criminals have a particular tendency to choose to settle in such neighbourhoods. This selection problem does not arise, however, with respect to the children of refugees who were granted asylum in Denmark in the period 1986-98. These families were not able to choose where they would live in Denmark, but were placed in homes by the authorities. The analysis examines whether children of refugees who were housed in municipalities with a high proportion of young criminals, all else being equal, had a greater likelihood of being convicted of crime while they were aged 15-21 than was the case for other children of refugees.
Research Immigration and integration
Study paper no. 63