Economic inequality and crime: The role of social resistance

Eran Itskovich*, Roni Factor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There is compelling evidence that economic inequality is positively correlated with crime. The current study offers a new explanation for this positive correlation, based on the social resistance framework. We posit that economic inequality alienates individuals from the institutions and values of society, and this, in turn, leads them to resist these institutions and values by, among other things, engaging in criminal behavior. We tested this model on two distinct types of crime, using survey data provided by participants from Israel. Applying structural equation modeling, we find support for the proposed mechanism: economic inequality is associated with social resistance, which in turn is associated with crime. The findings serve as preliminary evidence that economic inequality creates fertile ground for crime because it encourages individuals to resist the core values and central institutions of society.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102065
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Economic inequality
  • Property crimes
  • Relative deprivation
  • Social resistance
  • Traffic violations


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