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Race, Crime, and Public Housing in Atlanta: Testing a Conditional Effect Hypothesis

Thomas L. McNulty and Steven R. Holloway
Social Forces
Vol. 79, No. 2 (Dec., 2000), pp. 707-729
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2675514
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2675514
Page Count: 23
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Race, Crime, and Public Housing in Atlanta: Testing a Conditional Effect Hypothesis
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Abstract

This article tests a conditional effect hypothesis which predicts that the strength and magnitude of the association between racial composition and crime rates will dissipate with increasing distance of neighborhoods from public housing projects. We examine this hypothesis with 1990-92 geo-coded crime incident data matched with 1990 block- group-level census data for Atlanta. The hypothesis is supported in models predicting murder, rape, assault, and public order crime, but not robbery and property crime. Confirmation of our conditional effect hypothesis for several major types of crime suggests the potential for bias in interpretations of estimated race effects in multivariate neighborhood-level models that do not control for public housing.

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