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.


Rufrancos et al. 2013. “Income Inequality and Crime: A Review and Explanation of the Time–series Evidence,” Sociology and Criminology: Open Access 1(1) doi: 10.4172/2375-4435.1000103

author = {Hector Rufrancos and Maddie Power and Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson},
doi = {10.4172/2375-4435.1000103},
journal = {Sociology and Criminology: Open Access},
number = {1},
pages = {1--9},
title = {Income Inequality and Crime: A Review and Explanation of the Time–
series Evidence},
volume = {1},
year = {2013}}