Thursday, March 17, 2011
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 increases by more than 15% once the foreclosed home becomes vacant. Effects on property crime are similar, but less precisely estimated.