Is Gun Violence Stunting Business Growth?
"Gun violence imposes heavy social, psychological, and financial
burdens on both individuals and society at large. Some of these burdens
are known—we learn of the emotional cost from news stories and moving
personal accounts, and we have previously calculated the health care costs of treating gunshot injuries. But we know comparatively little about the relationship between gun violence and local economic health.
In the communities and neighborhoods most affected by gun violence, is the presence of guns—absent other factors—impeding business growth?
A recent longitudinal study
shows that neighborhood-level economic activity affects the conditions
that make crime more likely and that violent crime can decline in the
same year that economic activity increases. Earlier studies by Bowes and Greenbaum and Tita
show that crime and fear of crime adversely affect the economic health
of communities, cutting into business revenues and limiting business
activity. New Urban research led by Yasemin Irvin-Erickson builds on
these findings by exploring the association between gun violence and
economic health of neighborhoods in six cities: Baton Rouge, Louisiana;
Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; Rochester, New York; San
Francisco, California; and Washington, DC.
This study integrates innovative data from several sources, including
the National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) database, gunshot
detection technology, and credit bureau data, to develop concrete
numbers describing the association between gun violence and local
economic health. An interim report presents
findings from Oakland, Washington, DC, and Minneapolis and explores the
association between gun violence and business trends by census tract,
using fixed effects panel models and analysis of observational data with
View the Interim Report