Spatial Relationship between Unemployment, Immigration, and Criminality


  • Jhon James Mora Universidad Icesi
  • Luis Eduardo Sandoval Garrido Universidad Militar Nueva Granada
  • Laura Carolina Riaño Bermudez Universidad Militar Nueva Granada



Crime, Spatial analysis, Immigration, Unemployment


This article discusses the relationships between immigration, unemployment, and crime. Venezuelan social and economic instability has led to an exodus of Venezuelan citizens to Colombian cities in recent years. Cali, the third most important city in Colombia, is aware of this phenomenon, as it is a recipient of the Venezuelan immigrant population. In light of the few existing job opportunities in the Cali, this influx has impacted violence and crime rates in the city. The international literature has shown negative correlations between economic activity, violence, and crime to date, but the spatial interactions between these elements and immigration have not been analyzed. This lack of study is unusual in a developing country like Colombia. Therefore, this study fills that gap by first constructing two crime indices, which weigh different types of crimes that affect citizen security and provide a matrix of spatial distances. Then, we prepared spatial models using proximity to commands of immediate attention (police stations). Our results show that there is a positive spatial relationship between the unemployment of the immigrant population and the levels of crime in the City of Cali.

Author Biographies

  • Luis Eduardo Sandoval Garrido, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada

    Department of Economics, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada

  • Laura Carolina Riaño Bermudez, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada

    Graduate Assistant, Department of Economics, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada


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Spatial Relationship between Unemployment, Immigration, and Criminality. (2024). Latin American Economic Review, 33, 1-16.

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