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Spatially Integrated Social Science: Chapter 7
< Chapter 6 - Chapter 8 >

Spatial Analyses of Homicide with Areal Data
Steven F. Messner and Luc Anselin

Abstract
This chapter highlights the ways in which the application of recently developed techniques for spatial analysis contributes to our understanding of homicide. We begin with a brief historical review of the role of geographic space in the sociological study of crime and then discuss generic methodological issues involved in the study of areal units. The logic of important techniques for spatial analysis is explained and illustrated using two empirical case studies of variation in homicide rates across U.S. counties. One case study involves the use of techniques of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), and the other applies spatial regression modeling. The analyses yield suggestive evidence of diffusion processes and also reveal the incompleteness of well-accepted baseline models of homicide rates. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of pressing issues for future research on the spatial dynamics of crime.

Figures

Figure 7.1

Figure 7.2

Figure 7.3

Tables


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