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NCJ Number: 221602 Find in a Library
Title: Economic Inequality and Homicide in the Developed Nations From 1975 to 1995
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:28-45
Author(s): David Jacobs; Amber A. Richardson
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: SES-0417736
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the Blau and Blau theory about the relationship between economic inequality and homicide rates in 14 developed democracies.
Abstract: The findings support Blau and Blau as they suggest that homicide rates are higher in the most unequal societies, but the nonlinear relationship detected in the current study provides additional support for relative deprivation theory. The current study revealed significant associations between joblessness and homicides; the most economically developed nations with the largest per capita gross domestic products had higher murder rates. Except in the most extremely unequal nations, expansion in economic inequality produced a growth in the most destructive interpersonal crime. Findings show that a widespread relationship between economic inequality and homicide exists in heterogeneous societies other than the United States. Relative deprivation and unfavorable comparisons when the rich are not separated from the poor in severely stratified societies produce additional murder rates. Changes in economic growth lead to substantial fluctuations in the murder rates. Accounts stressing urbanism and the related associations between social disorganization and violent crime were also supported. Nations with the most substantial infant mortality rates had higher homicide rates. The presence of young males provides a strong explanation for serious street crime and, as a result, young males had a strong positive relationship with cross national murder rates. A culturally determined phenomenon such as murder cannot be expected to respond to transitory shifts in economic determinants. The study used a fixed-effects pooled time-series design to analyze the relationship between inequality and homicide rates in 14 developed nations that were able to provide accurate, relatively complete, and comparable information for the years 1975 to 1995. Those nations included: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Tables, figure, notes, references
Main Term(s): Foreign countries; Homicide causes; International; Political influences
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Crime causes theory; Foreign crime statistics; Social conditions; US/foreign comparisons
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