Alberto Ciancio
Interests: Political Economy, Public Economics, Economics of Crime, Program Evaluation, Applied Econometrics





Job Market Paper

The Impact of Immigration Policies on Local Enforcement, Crime and Policing Efficiency

Following a period of increasing immigration enforcement under George W. Bush’s administration, the Obama administration reversed immigration policies and issued strict new guidelines to relax enforcement in 2011. The purpose of this paper is to exploit this natural experiment in the enforcement of the immigration laws to study the effects of federal immigration policies on local enforcement, crime and policing efficiency. I use a unique and new data set obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request on several steps of the deportation process. I estimate how the drop in federal immigration enforcement affected county level enforcement, local crime rates and policing efficiency. My empirical analysis suggests that Democratic counties complemented federal policies, by reducing their immigration enforcement, whereas Republican counties tended to maintain higher levels of enforcement and to not react much to the guidelines. Employing a triple-difference approach, I find that Democratic counties with higher non-citizen population shares saw greater increases in clearance rates, a measure of policing efficiency, with no increase in crime rates. The results indicate that reducing immigration enforcement did not increase crime and rather led to an increase in policing efficiency, either because it allowed police to focus efforts on solving more serious crimes or because it elicited greater cooperation of non-citizens with police.


Monitoring Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants: Evidence from E-Verify (In Progress)

I collected data with multiple FOIA requests on the E-Verify program, which allows firms to electronically check the legal status of new employees. The program is voluntary for most firms, but mandatory in some states and for federal contractors. The data is a monthly panel of enrolled firms, from 2004 to early 2016 with information on firms’ characteristics (size, industry, precise location), number of times the firms use the program and find someone unauthorized, and monitoring actions of the Department of Homeland Security with regard to a particular firm. Two facts emerge: monitoring actions focus on big firms and the share of unauthorized persons found is higher in small firms, suggesting that undocumented immigrants cluster in small firms. I interpret E-verify as an increase in the hiring costs, which are increasing in firm size. Increasing marginal costs of recruitment is a potential cause of monopsony power (Manning 2003). Complementing these data with CPS data, I analyze whether monitoring actions reduce the number of unauthorized workers found and whether this has a negative effect on labor market outcomes of likely undocumented workers.

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant
Introduction to Microeconomics (Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2015)
Intermediate Microeconomics (Fall 2013, Fall 2014)


Petra Todd

Camilo Garcia-Jimeno

Holger Sieg


I am on the job market and will be available for interviews during the AEA meetings in Chicago from 1/5 to 1/8.