Putnam 2000) established these links in both the United States and in Italy.On the relationship of
inequality and involvement in community he says:Community and equality are mutually reinforcing… Social capital and economic inequalitymoved in tandem through most of the twentieth century. In terms of the distribution of wealth and income, America in the 1950s and 1960s was more egalitarian than it had beenin more than a century… [T]hose same decades were also the high point of socialconnectedness and civic engagement. Record highs in equality and social capital coincided.Conversely, the last third of the twentieth century was a time of growing inequality anderoding social capital… The timing of the two trends is striking: somewhere around 1965-70 America reversed course and started becoming both less just economically and less wellconnected socially and politically. (Putnam 2000 pp 359)In addition to affecting levels of trust and civic engagement, inequality in society has also shown tobe highly correlated with crime rates.Most studies looking into the relationship between crime
and inequality have concentrated on homicides - since homicides are almost identically defined
across all nations and jurisdictions. There have been over fifty studies showing tendencies forviolence to be more common in societies where income differences are larger. Research has beenconducted comparing developed countries with undeveloped countries, as well as studying areaswithin countries. Daly et al. 2001.
found that among U.S States and Canadian Provinces there is a
tenfold difference in homicide rates related to inequality. They estimated that about half of allvariation in homicide rates can be accounted for by differences in the amount of inequality in eachprovince or state. Fajnzylber et al. (2002) found a similar relationship worldwide. Amongcomments in academic literature on the relationship between homicides and inequality are:
The most consistent finding in cross-national research on homicides has been that of apositive association between income inequality and homicides. (Neapolitan 1999 pp 260)
Economic inequality is positively and significantly related to rates of homicide despite anextensive list of conceptually relevant controls. The fact that this relationship is found withthe most recent data and using a different measure of economic inequality from previousresearch, suggests that the finding is very robust. (Lee and Bankston 1999 pp 50)