Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 113–138 | Cite as

Modeling Micro-Level Crime Location Choice: Application of the Discrete Choice Framework to Crime at Places

  • Wim Bernasco
Original Paper


Discrete choice recently emerged as a new framework for analyzing criminal location decisions, but has thus far only been used to study the choice amongst large areas like census tracts. Because offenders also make target selection decisions at much lower levels of spatial aggregation, the present study analyzes the location choices of offenders at detailed spatial resolutions: the average unit of analysis is an area of only 18 residential units and 40 residents. This article reviews the discrete choice and spatial choice literature, justifies the use of geographic units this small, and argues that because small spatial units depend strongly on their environment, models are needed that take into account spatial interdependence. To illustrate these points, burglary location choice data from the Netherlands are analyzed with discrete choice models, including the spatial competition model.


Discrete choice Spatial competition Sampling-from-alternatives Burglary 



Crime data were kindly made available by politie Haaglanden (Greater The Hague Police Force). I thank Henk Elffers and Gerben Bruinsma for the fruitful discussions that helped me realize this paper, and the participants of the Crime and Place Working Group, three anonymous reviewers of this journal and the editors of this special issue, for insightful comments on previous drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR)AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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