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The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $407,707)

This project will examine the impact of foreclosures and crime at both the macro and micro-level. It will examine data at the Census tract level across five cities in the U.S. from different geographic regions. A micro-level analysis will be done in New York City by looking at the impact of foreclosures and crime at the block face unit of analysis. The researchers plan to use two datasets: state-of-the-art spatial analysis techniques, and quasi-experimental statistical designs. Using neighborhood-level data on crime, foreclosures, and lending activity from five major U.S. cities (Baltimore, Denver, Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C.), the researchers will estimate the relationship between increases in foreclosure and increases in crime. They will do a more detailed analysis of New York City by using longitudinal, point-specific data on reported crimes in New York City obtained under an agreement with the New York City Police Department. Along with parcel-level data on foreclosures, the researchers will examine whether foreclosures are associated with subsequent increases in crime in and around the foreclosed buildings, relative to broader trends in the neighborhood. Further, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques, their main unit of analysis will be the blockface. The researchers will compare levels and types of crime on blockfaces (before and after homes on the block enter foreclosure) to changes in crime on neighboring blockfaces in the same Census tract that have experienced fewer foreclosures. Given that crime trends are likely to be the same on neighboring blockfaces, such a difference-in-differences model will reveal if foreclosures lead to higher crime.ca/ncf

Date Created: September 15, 2010