Movin' on Up?: Gentrification and Homicide in Chicago, IL, 1970 to 1995 Open Access

Davis, Tiffany Nicole (2009)

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Movin' On Up? Gentrification and Homicide in Chicago, IL: 1970-1995
By Tiffany Davis
This research examines the differential effects of social disorganization on
neighborhood homicide rates in Chicago, IL, from 1970 to 1995. The main objectives are
to determine whether gentrification influences neighborhood homicide rates, and to
account for the structural conditions that contribute to changes in the homicide rates of
areas undergoing gentrification compared to those that are not. Since social
disorganization theory is the dominant theory for explaining crime rates in
neighborhoods, it serves as the theoretical basis for this research on gentrification and
homicide. Hypotheses from this theory suggest that different structural processes are
occurring in gentrifying neighborhoods compared to non-gentrifying neighborhoods. The
effects of residential stability, racial heterogeneity, and economic disadvantage are
estimated for three main homicide time-series models- -- all neighborhoods in the city of
Chicago, non-gentrifying census tracts alone, and gentrifying census tracts alone. The
results suggest that gentrification does not significantly impact the homicide rates in
Chicago neighborhoods after controlling for levels of social disorganization; however,
indicators of social disorganization do operate differently in gentrifying neighborhoods
compared to those neighborhoods that never gentrify. Overall, this study shows that,
contrary to the tenets of social disorganization theory, residential stability actually works
to increase violence in communities undergoing a social, physical, and economic

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction and Background pg. 1
Chapter 2. Literature Review pg. 14
Chapter 3. Data and Methods pg. 31
Chapter 4. Results pg. 45
Chapter 5. Discussion and Conclusion pg. 60
Appendices pg. 70
References pg. 73

List of Tables
1.1 Black Dissimilarity index for the City of Chicago..................10

3.1 Summary Statistics for City of Chicago.............................40
4.1 Summary Statistics for Gentrified and ..............................46
Non-Gentrified Neighborhoods

4.2 Time-Series Regression Results Predicting Neighborhood .........51
Homicide Rates, Chicago 1970 to 1995

List of Figures
4.1. Average Homicide Rates per 1,000 for all Chicago Tracts...............51

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