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ISSN: 2375-4435

Sociology and Criminology-Open Access
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Research Article

Income Inequality and Crime: A Review and Explanation of the Time - series Evidence

Hector Gutierrez Rufrancos1,2, Madeleine Power2*, Kate E Pickett3 and Richard Wilkinson4

1Hector Rufrancos, Research student, Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK

2The Equality Trust, UK

3Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK

4Division of Epidemiology Public Health, University of Nottingham and Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Madeiline Power
The Equaliy Trust, UK
Tel: 020 7922 7927
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: July 12, 2013; Accepted Date: August 26, 2013; Published Date: August 29, 2013

Citation: Rufrancos HG, Power M, Pickett KE, Wilkinson R (2013) Income Inequality and Crime: A Review and Explanation of the Time-series Evidence. Social Crimonol 1: 103. doi: 10.4172/2375-4435.1000103

Copyright: © 2013 Rufrancos H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Abstract

This review analyses the time–series evidence of the effects of changing income inequality on crime for a number of countries and types of crime. 17 papers analysing this relationship using time–series evidence were found via a systematic search. The papers’ findings on the relationship between inequality and crime were classified as providing evidence of Significant Positive Associations, No Significant Associations, or Significant Negative Associations. The analysis indicated that property crime increases with rising income inequality and specific measures of violent crime, such as homicide and robbery, also display sensitivity to income inequality over time. Aggregated non-specific measures of violent crime, however, do not display such sensitivity, which is most likely to be due to differences in crime reporting. The majority of the differences in the findings can be explained by the choice of covariates, and the estimators and measures used in the paper. The paper concludes with a unified interpretation of the time–series evidence.

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