Are neighbourhoods self-stabilising? Exploring endogenous dynamics

George Galster, Jackie Cutsinger, Up Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates how neighbourhoods respond when they are upset by transient, exogenous shock(s). Do they quickly revert to their original, stable state, gradually return to this stable state, permanently settle into another stable state, diverge progressively from any steady state, or evince no discernable pattern of response? A self-regulating adjustment process promoting stability appears the norm, based on econometric investigations of multiple, annually measured indicators from census tracts in five US cities. Stability quickly re-established at the original state characterises most of the indicators analysed: rates of tax delinquency, low-weight births, teenage births and home sales volumes. Violent and property crime rates also evince endogenous stability at the original state, but take considerably longer than the other indicators to return to it when the exogenous shock is sizeable. Moreover, this crime adjustment process is considerably slower in neighbourhoods with higher poverty rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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