On SAGE Insight: Isolating the effect of eviction on criminal convictions

Article title: Isolating the effect of eviction on criminal convictions – Results from a Swedish study

From Acta Sociologica

On an individual level, criminal offending is linked to resource deficiencies. Since evictions tend to affect society’s weakest groups, we would expect evicted individuals to be convicted of crime to a higher degree than others even before eviction. But is there also a direct effect of eviction on criminal convictions?.

This study required both longitudinal data of good quality and the use of an appropriate methodological approach. By use of the so-called DEVS (Dynamics of Evictions in Sweden) database, including longitudinal information on evictions and criminal convictions, and by employing propensity score matching (PSM) the purpose of this study is to isolate the effect of eviction on criminal convictions among individuals evicted from their homes in Sweden during 2009 and 2010.

After matching based on relevant background factors, the analyses showed a significant increase in criminal convictions from the year of eviction until the end of the period studied, two to three years later. The pattern was similar for men and women. Eviction represents a dramatic loss of resources. Understood this way, criminality can be “a conditional survival strategy” in an extremely exposed life situation when all other choices are blocked. A resource perspective could be used to explain both the higher levels of criminal convictions of the evictees even before eviction and an increase in criminal offending following eviction.

Abstract

On an individual level, criminal offending is linked to resource deficiencies. Since evictions tend to affect society’s weakest groups, we would expect evicted individuals to be convicted of crime to a higher degree than others even before eviction. But is there also a direct effect of eviction on criminal convictions? The aim of this study was to isolate the effect of eviction on criminal convictions. Propensity score matching was used and the analyses included all individuals evicted in Sweden from 2009 to 2010 (n = 5050), and a 10% sample of the adult population (n = 770,000). After matching based on relevant background factors, the analyses showed a significant increase in criminal convictions from the year of eviction until the end of the period studied, two to three years later. The pattern was similar for men and women. Future research should investigate eviction in relation to different types of crime.

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Article details

Isolating the effect of eviction on criminal convictions – Results from a Swedish study
Susanne Alm
DOI: 10.1177/0001699317697363
2018, Vol. 61(3)
From Acta Sociologica

 

 

     
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