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The Effect of Housing Demolitions on Crime in Buffalo, New York

47 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2017 Last revised: 17 Aug 2017

Andrew Palmer Wheeler

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Dae-Young Kim

University at Buffalo, SUNY

Scott W. Phillips

State University of New York (SUNY) - Department of Criminal Justice

Date Written: August 4, 2017

Abstract

Objectives: From 2010 through 2015, the city of Buffalo demolished over 2,000 residences. This study examines whether those demolitions resulted in crime reductions.

Methods: Analysis was conducted at micro places matching demolished parcels to comparable control parcels with similar levels of crime. In addition, spatial panel regression models were estimated at the census tract and quarterly level, taking into account demographic characteristics of neighborhoods.

Results: We find that at the micro place level, demolitions cause a steep drop in reported crime at the exact parcel, and result in additional crime decreases at buffers of up to 1,000 feet away. At the census tract level, results indicated that demolitions reduced Part 1 crimes, but the effect was not statistically significant across different models.

Conclusions: While concerns over crime and disorder are common for vacant houses, the evidence that housing demolitions are an effective crime reduction solution is only partially supported by the analyses here. Future research should compare demolitions in reference to other neighborhood revitalization processes.

Keywords: demolitions, foreclosures, micro-places, neighborhoods, situational-crime-prevention

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Andrew Palmer and Kim, Dae-Young and Phillips, Scott W., The Effect of Housing Demolitions on Crime in Buffalo, New York (August 4, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013720

Andrew Wheeler (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 830688, GR 31
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

Dae-Young Kim

University at Buffalo, SUNY ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

Scott Phillips

State University of New York (SUNY) - Department of Criminal Justice ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222
United States

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