Title: Economic inequality can generate unhappiness that leads to violent crime in society

Authors: Mario Coccia

Addresses: Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity (CSDC), Arizona State University, Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 1, 550 East Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85287, USA; CNR – National Research Council of Italy, Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth (IRCRES), Collegio Carlo Alberto, Via Real Collegio, 30, 10024 – Moncalieri (TO), Italy

Abstract: Many studies in social sciences have suggested different approaches to explain violent crime in society, such as the heat hypothesis that more violence is associated to hot weather. However, these approaches provide a partial explanation of this social issue. This study shows that, controlling climate, socio-economic inequality at country level negatively affects human behaviour and leads to high rates of violent crime in society. The socio-economic inequality is one of the contributing factors that generates aversive environments, unhappiness and, as a consequence, high rates of intentional homicides in society. Overall, then, these findings here can clarify whenever possible, a vital source of unhappiness in society that may lead to aggressive behaviour and violent crime.

Keywords: economic inequality; unhappiness; hot weather; warm climate; violent crime; intentional homicides; heat hypothesis; spirit level hypothesis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2018.090488

International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2018 Vol.4 No.1, pp.1 - 24

Received: 29 Dec 2016
Accepted: 13 Mar 2017

Published online: 08 Mar 2018 *

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