Spatial heterogeneity in the effects of immigration and diversity on neighborhood homicide rates

Corina Graif, Robert J. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the connection of immigration and diversity to homicide by advancing a recently developed approach to modeling spatial dynamics-geographically weighted regression (GWR). In contrast to traditional global averaging, we argue on substantive grounds that neighborhood characteristics vary in their effects across neighborhood space, a process of "spatial heterogeneity." Much like treatment-effect heterogeneity and distinct from spatial spillover, our analysis finds considerable evidence that neighborhood characteristics in Chicago vary significantly in predicting homicide, in some cases showing countervailing effects depending on spatial location. In general, however, immigrant concentration is either unrelated or inversely related to homicide, whereas language diversity is consistently linked to lower homicide. The results shed new light on the immigration-homicide nexus and suggest the pitfalls of global averaging models that hide the reality of a highly diversified and spatially stratified metropolis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-260
Number of pages19
JournalHomicide Studies
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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