The reproduction of racial inequality: How crime affects housing turnover

  • Xie M
  • Mcdowall D
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This study examines the microlevel process of housing turnover between Blacks and Whites to assess whether crime plays an important role in the racial transition of neighborhoods. The study uses a unique, longitudinal version of the National Crime Survey in which each dwelling’s close neighbors are identified. After controlling for household characteristics and the characteristics of their close neighbors, crime occurring in nearby areas is found to increase the chances of White-toBlack turnover while decreasing the chances of Black-to-White turnover. This change occurs even though the directly victimized houses do not necessarily have a probability of racial turnover different than that of other houses nearby. The findings suggest the presence of structural constraints that limit the housing opportunities for Blacks and constrain their choice of residence to comparatively unsafe neighborhoods. They also indicate that “White avoidance,” in which Whites systematically bypass high-crime neighborhoods, is important in maintaining the relationship between race and crime

Author-supplied keywords

  • Crime
  • Neighborhoods
  • Racial inequality
  • Residential mobility

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  • Min Xie

  • David Mcdowall

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