Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $25,000)
The current project will examine appropriate modeling techniques to form a greater understanding of the journey to buy and sell illegal narcotics with the City of Philadelphia. Specifically, this work draws attention to three significant research questions: (1) Can the variations in distance traveled to buy and sell drugs be accounted for by individual level and drug market features? (2) Do the fundamental demographic features of communities explain between-market variation in buyer and seller travel distance? (3) How, if at all, does the travel distance of market dealers and buyers influence community violent crime rates? The project will address the above questions using the following methodology. First, a nearest neighbor hierarchical clustering (NNHC) technique will be used to operationalize and define the locations of drug markets. Second, it will utilize Poisson hierarchical linear models (HLM) to determine how far dealers and buyers travel to their arrest locations, controlling for market, community demographic, and individual factors. Finally, the project will examine the implications of travel distance to drug markets on community violence by categorizing markets according to a theoretically driven typology. A one-way ANOVA will be used to identify significant differences in community violent crime rates among categories.