PROJECTEconomic Impacts of Gun Violence

The psychological, social, and financial burdens gun violence places on individuals and society are well-researched. This project explores a different perspective on gun violence: its impact on community-level economic health, about which comparatively little is known.

This series of publications shares research based on newly available business establishment and credit score data, along with gunshot and sociodemographic data by census tract and gun homicide data in six cities. While the specific economic effects of gun violence differ by city the results demonstrate that gun violence is detrimental to neighborhood economic health.

“Surges” occur when gun violence increases sharply and suddenly. In the neighborhoods where gun violence surges take place, they significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses, leading fewer local jobs to be available for neighborhood residents and fewer local establishment available for residents to shop at. And, housing values appreciate more slowly.

Across five cities, gun violence surges slowed neighborhood home value appreciation by ~4 percent. Also decreasing? Average credit score and homeownership rates.

Learn more: “Gun Violence Affects the Economic Health of Communities

As part of this project, researchers spoke to residents, business owners and civic organizations in these cities. Interviews confirmed their experience matched what the data showed. Business owners in these neighborhoods were forced to take on the cost of enhanced security measures, while suffering because local residents don’t feel comfortable shopping after dark. Residents shared the perception that gun violence hurts their housing prices, driving existing community members to relocate and prospective new residents to avoid moving to affected neighborhoods.

Among other things, the project’s research has led to the recommendation of increasing public-private community partnerships in gun violence reduction. These partnerships can lead to cycles wherein business development promotes economic well-being, creates jobs, and reduces gun violence, which in turn drives additional business growth.

Related Content
Research Areas Crime, justice, and safety
Tags Gun violence
Policy Centers Justice Policy Center