Income inequality and fear of crime across the European region

Christin-Melanie Vauclair, Boyka Bratanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to take a holistic approach on studying fear of crime by
testing predictors at multiple levels of analyses. Data from the European
Social Survey (N = 56,752 from 29 countries) were used to test and
extend the Income Inequality and Sense of Vulnerability Hypotheses. The
findings confirm that (1) individuals in societies with greater income
inequalities are more fearful of crime, and (2) older or disabled people as
well as women report greater fear of crime. Contrary to the hypotheses,
ethnic majority and not ethnic minority members report greater fear of
crime, if they reside in high income inequality countries. It is further
demonstrated that fear of crime explains the inverse association between
income inequality and subjective well-being in this particular subsample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-241
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date22 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Cross-national comparisons
  • European Social Survey
  • Fear of crime
  • Income inequality
  • Multilevel analyses
  • Subjective well-being


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