Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


A study of crime and gentrification in central cities in the U.S.


Economics Department


Seidman College of Business




Several studies have shown that crime stimulated population migration to the suburbs (Cullen, J.B. and S.D. Levitt, 1999, Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities, Review of Economics and Statistics 81, 159-169, and Ellen, I.G. and K. O'Regan, 2010, Crime and Urban Flight Revisited: The Effect of the 1990s Drop in Crime on Cities, Journal of Urban Economics 68, 247-259.). In line with those works, this paper examines how population size, income, educational level, and housing construction in more than 200 large U.S. central cities changed during the 2000s (these variables are used as indicators of positive urban changes). Data for Chicago community areas is also used for a finer spatial scale analysis. The study assesses the impact of both the initial level of crime rate in 2000 and the change in crime rate during the 2000s on population, income, human capital, and housing growth. OLS and instrumental variable methods are used, with spatial autocorrelation taken into account in the Chicagos community areas study. The results indicate that crime had strong negative effects on the measures of urban growth considered. On the other hand, factors that contributed to improve conditions were the greater past population growth rate (in the 1990s), presence of jobs, proportion of workers in management related occupation, and proportion of people aged 25 to 44 years old.

Conference Name

Midwest Economic Association Meetings

Conference Location

Columbus OH

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