, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 351-370,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Violent Crime, Residential Instability and Mobility: Does the Relationship Differ in Minority Neighborhoods?


This study examines the reciprocal relationship between violent crime and residential stability in neighborhoods. We test whether the form of stability matters by comparing two different measures of stability: a traditional index of residential stability and a novel approach focusing specifically on the stability of homeowners. We also examine whether the racial/ethnic composition of the neighborhood in which this stability occurs affects the instability—violent crime relationship. To test the simultaneous relationship between residential mobility and crime we estimate a dual multivariate latent curve model of the change in the violent crime rate and the change in the rate of home sales while controlling for neighborhood socioeconomic and demographic characteristics using data from Los Angeles between 1992 and 1997. Results indicate that the initial level of violent crime increases the trajectory of residential instability in subsequent years, whether the instability is measured as homeowner turnover specifically, or based on an index of all residents. However, the effect of instability on violent crime is only apparent when measuring instability based on an index of general residential turnover and not when including the presence of owners in this measure, or when measuring it based on homeowner turnover. We consistently find that stable highly Latino communities exhibit a protective effect against violence.