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Valuation of Specific Crime Rates: Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2000
141 pages
This report attempts to evaluate the explicit costs of crime to society.
The report used two approaches to the problem of crime costs. The first, the hedonic model, tried to isolate the value individuals placed on specific amenities or disamenities, such as weather, air pollution, and crime rates, as seen in the wages they required and the prices they payed for housing. The second technique evaluated these costs by combining the actual out-of-pocket expenses associated with crime with the imputed costs from the pain, suffering, and fear endured by crime victims. The report analyzed multiple decades of information obtained from counties across the United States to create a panel data set. With those data, the paper isolated the effects of individual crimes on housing prices and wage rates, as seen by individual and household preferences changing over time, and placed a dollar value on the benefit of specific crime reduction, as reflected in citizens' willingness to pay. The report included a literature review and an explanation of methodology. The report concluded that the hedonic approach seemed to be the most direct route to estimating the cost of crime to individuals, as measured by their own choices. The report expanded the technique to consider individual crimes, which facilitated estimating the value of reducing specific crimes. The report considered that step important for specific policy analyses. Government agencies and individual communities may be able to use such value estimates of specific crimes to determine which crime reduction programs pass a cost-benefit test. Appendix, tables, bibliography

Date Published: January 1, 2000