Social welfare support and homicide: longitudinal analyses of European countries from 1994 to 2010

Soc Sci Res. 2014 Nov:48:90-107. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.05.009. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


The purpose of this research is to explore the extent to which retrenchment in welfare support is related to homicide trends across European countries between 1994 and 2010. Using a longitudinal decomposition design that allows for stronger causal inferences compared to typical cross-sectional designs, we examine these potential linkages between social support spending and homicide with data collected from a heterogeneous sample of European nations, including twenty Western nations and nine less frequently analyzed East-Central nations, during recent years in which European nations generally witnessed substantial changes in homicide rates as well as both economic prosperity and fiscal crisis. Results suggest that even incremental, short-term changes in welfare support spending are associated with short-term reductions in homicide-specifically, impacting homicide rates within two to three years for this sample of European nations.

Keywords: Decommodification; Europe; Homicide; Longitudinal; Welfare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Homicide / economics*
  • Homicide / prevention & control
  • Homicide / trends
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Policy / economics*
  • Social Support*
  • Social Welfare / economics*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult