Structural covariates of U.S. County homicide rates: Incorporating spatial effects

Robert D. Baller, Luc Anselin, Steven F. Messner, Glenn Deane, Darnell F. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

342 Scopus citations


Spatial analysis is statistically and substantively important for macrolevel criminological inquiry. Using county-level data for the decennial years in the 1960 to 1990 time period, we reexamine the impact of conventional structural covariates on homicide rates and explicitly model spatial effects. Important findings are: (1) homicide is strongly clustered in space; (2) this clustering cannot be completely explained by common measures of the structural similarity of neighboring counties; (3) noteworthy regional differences are observed in the effects of structural covariates on homicide rates; and (4) evidence consistent with a diffusion process for homicide is observed in the South throughout the 1960-1990 period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-588
Number of pages28
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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