Understanding the Relationship Between Income Inequality and Homicide Victimization in Central Eastern Europe During the Post-Socialist Transition

Janet P. Stamatel, ICPSR/University of Michigan

Several quantitative cross-national studies have demonstrated a strong positive relationship between income inequality and homicides. However, few of these studies have included nations from Central Eastern Europe in their analyses due to data limitations. The communist history of these countries, which placed a strong emphasis on equality, and the post-communist political and economic transitions, which have resulted in increased inequality, make this region an interesting case for understanding the relationship between income inequality and homicide during a historically unique period of social change. This paper utilizes pooled time series analysis on data from the World Health Organization and the World Bank to understand the relationship between income inequality and homicide victimization in nine post-communist Central Eastern European countries over 10 years. The aim of this paper is to understand how the transition from Soviet-style communism to democratic capitalism has affected income inequality and, in turn, homicide rates both across countries and over time.

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Updated 05/20/2006