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Extremely Poor Neighborhoods and Homicide

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Objective.

This study explores the wide variation in homicide rates among extremely poor neighborhoods. Methods.

Using cross-sectional Census tract data for New York City (N= 2,042), the present analysis employs robust regression techniques to estimate the relationship between community resource deprivation and homicide for a subsample of 227 neighborhoods with poverty rates 40 percent and greater. Results.

The main finding is that even at extreme levels of neighborhood poverty, variation in disadvantage is positively associated with variation in homicide rates. Moreover, the disadvantage-homicide relationship appears especially strong in extremely poor areas (and in predominately African-American neighborhoods). Conclusion.

Consistent with W. J. Wilson's perspective on inner-city disadvantage, the results imply that reducing the concentration of poverty will reduce overall homicide rates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Occidental College

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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