Professor George Galster talks crime in the neighbourhood

Professor George Galster returns to The University of Sheffield to present a seminar jointly hosted between the SMI and the Department of Town and Regional Planning.

As part of the Social and Business Statistic Network (SBSN) series of events Professor Galster will be presenting his research Neighborhood Context and Criminal Behaviors of the Disadvantaged: Evidence from a Copenhagen Natural Experiment on Thursday 25 June 10.30am - 12.00pm at the SMI Teaching Room (TBC)


We investigate the degree to which criminal offenses committed by youth and young adults are influenced by their neighborhood surroundings, especially the demographic, socioeconomic and criminal dimensions of their social housing development. We identify causal relationships by using a natural experiment wherein the Copenhagen, DK municipality assigns households with urgent housing needs to every third social housing unit that becomes vacant, a process we show produces quasi-random assignment. We obtain from administrative sources information on the 1,078 individuals aged 15-29 who were thus assigned during 2007-2010 and on their social housing developments in the week before assignment; their violent, property and drug charges and convictions during the subsequent three years are modelled. We find that the proportion of neighborhood residents aged 15-29 receiving social assistance increases drug crimes and the proportion aged 30-59 with only basic education increases property crimes. Unspecified fixed effects measured at the school district level also predict all sorts of criminality. Unexpectedly, the proportion of residents with prior criminal charges or convictions was not predictive.

About Professor George Galster

George Galster is the Clarence Hilberry Professor of Public Affairs at Wayne State University, Detroit. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. and has published over 130 articles and 30 book chapters on topics ranging from metropolitan housing markets, racial discrimination and segregation, neighbourhood dynamics, residential reinvestment, community lending and insurance patterns, neighbourhood effects, and urban poverty. He has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice, numerous municipalities, community organizations and civil rights groups. He has served on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, National Academy of Science review committees, and numerous other leadership positions in community service. He has provided housing policy consultations to public officials in Australia, Canada, China, the U.K. and the U.S.