Type of Document Dissertation Author Harris, Paul Elisha Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04042011-150936 Title A Closer Look at Home Foreclosures and Crime: Examining the Criminal Consequences of Home Foreclosures on Houston Neighborhoods Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Eric Baumer Committee Chair Brian Stults Committee Member Stacy Sirmans University Representative Keywords
- Social Disorganization
- Neighborhood Crime
- Home Foreclosure
Date of Defense 2011-03-14 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe extraordinary breadth of the current home foreclosure crisis has made it a regularly discussed topic across the United States. Few cities can claim they have been unaffected by it as 94 of the nationís 100 largest metropolitan areas experienced an increase in home foreclosures in 2008. Such a rise in home foreclosure has left many curious about consequences that may appear in the wake of the largest crisis of this kind in American history. The purpose of this project is to better understand some of the potential criminal consequences of home foreclosure.
In an attempt to answer this question, this study poses two primary research questions. The first: does a change in home foreclosures in a given neighborhood lead to an increase in crime in said neighborhood? And, in an effort to better understand the relationship between home foreclosures and crime, what other variables condition the influence of home foreclosures on crime, if any?
Past theory and research suggest social disorganization and disorder theories to be the most appropriate to address this phenomenon. The merits of strain theories are discussed and the concept of suburban insulation is introduced.
Finally, this study offers a preliminary look at how home foreclosures are influencing crime in Houston, Texas communities. Home foreclosure, crime, and other demographic data from Houston during the years 2005-2008 were compiled. Results from analyses employing dynamic panel models with an Arellano-Bond estimator indicate that changes in rates of home foreclosure over time do have a significant positive relationship with changes in the rates of total crime. Nonetheless, this influence is substantively minor. Lastly, higher levels of urbanization and economic disadvantage negatively impacted the influence of home foreclosures on crime.
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