Foreclosure, Vacancy and Crime
31 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 2014
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.
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