Crime Generators in Context: Examining ‘Place in Neighborhood’ Propositions

Marie Skubak Tillyer, Pamela Wilcox, Rebecca J. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives: The present study tests hypotheses regarding the moderating influence of neighborhood-level criminal opportunity on the relationship between crime generators and block-level crime. Methods: We first estimated multilevel negative binomial regression models for violent, property, and drug crimes to identify crime-type specific crime generators on each block. We then estimated a series of crime-type specific models to examine whether the effects of violent, property, and drug crime generators are moderated by three census block group-level indicators of neighborhood criminal opportunity—concentrated disadvantage, vehicular traffic activity, and civic engagement. Results: The positive relationship between crime generators and crime on blocks was exacerbated in census block groups with high levels of concentrated disadvantage and high levels of traffic activity for all three crime types. The effects of crime generators on block-level crime were significantly tempered in census block groups with high levels of civic engagement. Conclusions: Particular place types do not generate crime similarly across varying neighborhood contexts. Rather, the criminogenic effects of micro-places appear to be exacerbated in neighborhoods with extensive criminal opportunity and tempered in neighborhoods with less criminal opportunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-546
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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