Inequality, welfare state, and homicide: Further support for the institutional anomie theory

Jukka Savolainen

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182 Scopus citations

Abstract

Building directly on key insights from two prior tests of the institutional anomie theory, we predict that the positive effect of economic inequality on the level of lethal violence is limited to nations characterized by relatively weak collective institutions of social protection. This hypothesis is tested with two complementary cross-national data sets. Both settings reveal a negative interaction effect between economic inequality and the strength of the welfare state. Nations that protect their citizens from the vicissitudes of market forces appear to be immune to the homicidal effects of economic inequality. This finding provides critical support for the institutional anomie theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1042
Number of pages22
JournalCriminology
Volume38
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2000

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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