New faces changing spaces : how gentrification shapes individual demand for policing



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How does gentrification impact individual demand for policing? Previous research finds that gentrification is associated with more calls to the police but cannot show which residents make these calls or evaluate explanations for why these calls occur. My novel individual-level approach allows me to test common assumptions and ethnographic findings about gentrification and policing. Using a within-subject design that matches 2014-2021 voter file data with administrative police records from Austin, TX, I show that gentrifiers make more calls to the police than long-term residents in gentrifying neighborhoods and that this increasing call volume is associated with the act of moving. Specifically, I show that wealthier, white gentrifiers demand more policing as they move into spaces with relatively higher levels of poverty and more non-white residents regardless of changes in crime. These findings challenge the common assumption that crime alone drives demand for policing, instead highlighting the impact of poverty and race in shaping individual political behavior in gentrifying contexts.



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