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Political Economy of Neighbourhood Homicide in Chicago: The Role of Bank Investment

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 52 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2012 Pages: 490-513
Maria B. Velez; Kelly Richardson
Date Published
May 2012
24 pages
This article examines the impact of mortgage lending on neighborhood homicide levels in Chicago.
The urban political-economy perspective contends that the actions of elites have made certain neighborhoods susceptible to deleterious conditions. The authors draw on this logic to argue neighborhoods that are winners of the political economy of place are rewarded with relatively higher levels of home mortgage lending and thus enjoy lower levels of homicide. Neighborhoods that are the losers of the political economy receive relatively little bank lending and have relatively higher levels of homicide. This study found that Chicago neighborhoods during the mid-1990s experienced lower homicide per capita rates if banks had awarded them relatively higher home mortgage loan dollars and they were surrounded by relatively higher infusions of home mortgage loan dollars. Results underscore the importance of economic elites in providing resources like home mortgage lending capital to neighborhoods. (Published Abstract)


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