In this paper, the effect of several crime-related variables on individual subjective well-being is explored by using European Social Survey data including 32 European countries over the years 2002-2016. The results show a negative and significant effect of crime victimization on satisfaction with life and a negative and significant effect of fear of crime on satisfaction with life as well. In contrast, no significant effect is found between homicide rates and life satisfaction. When zooming in on institutional trust, the results implicate that trust in institutions, measured by the rule of law, mediates the relationship between fear of crime and life satisfaction. As the level of institutional trust increases, the negative effect of fear of crime on life satisfaction declines. In addition, the results show that the negative effect of both crime victimization and fear of crime on life satisfaction is less strong for women as compared to men. Overall, this paper emphasizes the importance of the fight against crime by governments to pursue the goal of a happy population. Moreover, it is recommended to invest in good quality institutions and try to increase citizens’ trust in these institutions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Happiness, life satisfaction, crime victimization, fear of crime, crime rates, institutional, trust, and gender differences
Thesis Advisor S. Stavropoulos
Persistent URL
Series Business Economics
J. Reis. (2019, November 7). The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction: European Evidence. Business Economics. Retrieved from