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The Spatial Dimensions of Gentrification and the Consequences for Neighborhood Crime


This study examines neighborhood economic improvement, what is occurring in nearby neighborhoods, and the consequences for neighborhood crime rates. Negative binomial regression models are estimated to explain the relationship between the increase in average home values (a component of gentrification) and crime in Los Angeles between 1990 and 2000. We find that the spatial context is important, as gentrifying neighborhoods located on the “frontier” of the gentrification process have significantly more aggravated assaults than gentrifying neighborhoods surrounded by neighborhoods also undergoing improvement. Furthermore, this effect is stronger in neighborhoods that began the decade with the highest average home values. Our findings indicate that the extent to which neighborhoods are more or less embedded in a larger process of economic improvement, and where the neighborhood is at in the economic development process, has differential effects on neighborhood crime.

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