NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Foreclosure, Vacancy and Crime

Lin Cui, Randall Walsh

NBER Working Paper No. 20593
Issued in October 2014
NBER Program(s):The Public Economics Program

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20593

Published: Cui, Lin & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Foreclosure, vacancy and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 72-84. citation courtesy of

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