John MacDonald

Professor of Criminology and Sociology
Chair, Department of Criminology
Penny and Robert A. Fox Faculty Director of the Fels Institute



Email: 
johnmm@sas.upenn.edu
CV (file): 
Education: 

Ph.D., Criminology, University of Maryland, 1999

M.A., Criminology, University of Maryland, 1996

B.A., Political Science, Vassar College, 1994

Research Interests: 

Professor MacDonald focuses primarily on the study of crime and violence, race and ethnic disparities in criminal justice, and the effect of public policy responses on crime. In 2012 he received the David N. Kershaw Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. The award honors scholars who under the age of 40 have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management.

Selected Publications: 

“The Effect of Light Rail Transit on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity,“ American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 39, 105-113, 2010.

“Policing the Homeless: An Evaluation of Efforts to Reduce Homeless-Related Crime,“ with R. Berk. Criminology and Public Policy, 9, 813-840, 2010.

“Public Safety through Private Action: An Economic Assessment of BIDs,” with P. Cook. Economic Journal, 121, 445-462, 2011.

“A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of Health, Safety, and Greening of Vacant Urban Space,” with C. Branas, R. Cheney et al. American Journal of Epidemiology, 174, 1296-1306, 2011.

“Reducing Crime by Shaping the Built Environment with Zoning: An Empirical Study of Los Angeles,” with J. Anderson, R. Bluthenthal, and S. Ashwood.  University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 161, 699-756, 2013.

"The Effect of Immigrant Concentration on Changes in Neighborhood Crime Rates," with J. Hipp and C. Gill. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 29: 191-215, 2013.

"Disparities in Criminal Court Referrals to Drug Treatment and Prison for Minority Men," with N. Nicosia and J. Arkes. American Journal of Public Health 103: e77-e84, 2013. 

"Decomposing Racial Disparities in Prison and Drug Treatment Commitments for Criminal Offenders in California," with J. Arkes, N. Nicosia, and R. Pacula. Journal of Legal Studies 43: 151-187. 

"A Difference-In-Differences Study of the Effects of a New Abandoned Building Remediation Strategy on Safety," with Kondo Mi. C., D. Keene, BC Hohl, and C. Branas. PLoS ONE 10 (7): e0129582.

"Community Design and Crime: The Impact of Housing and the Built Environment." Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research Vol. 44.

Courses Taught: 

Criminal Justice 

Proseminar in Criminology 

Proseminar in Criminal Justice 

Public Management

Other Affiliations: 

Faculty Director of the Fels Institute