The breadth and causes of contemporary cross-national homicide trends

Eric P. Baumer, Kevin T. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Analysis of international homicide trends from the late 1980s through the late 2000s for a relatively large sample of nations showed that trends did not vary substantially by victim sex or age. There was, however, significant regional variation in overall trends during the 1990s, suggesting that there was not a global drop in lethal violence during this period, or at least not something that occurred everywhere simultaneously. During the 2000s there appears to be growing convergence across nations, with notable declines in most by the middle of the decade. Multivariate analyses indicate that the observed declines are most strongly linked to reductions in poverty and urbanization and an increase in "youth oversight," the ratio of older to younger persons. No significant associations were observed between homicide trends and recent shifts in immigration, growth in imprisonment rates, and use of cellular phones and personal computers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-287
Number of pages57
JournalCrime and Justice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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