Foreclosure, Vacancy and Crime

31 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by Lin Cui

Lin Cui

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)

Randall Walsh

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of residential foreclosures and vacancies on violent and property crime. To overcome confounding factors, a difference-in-difference research design is applied to a unique data set containing geocoded foreclosure and crime data from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Results indicate that while foreclosure alone has no effect on crime, violent crime rates increase by roughly 19% once the foreclosed home becomes vacant -an effect that increases with length of vacancy. We find weak evidence suggesting a potential vacancy effect for property crime that is much lower in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

Cui, Lin and Walsh, Randall, Foreclosure, Vacancy and Crime (October 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20593. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2513153

Lin Cui

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) ( email )

8200 Jones Branch Road
McLean, VA 22101
United States

Randall Walsh

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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