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Crime Victimization and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Happiness Data

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  • Masanori Kuroki

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Abstract

Crime hurts victims financially and often physically. This paper examines how individual well-being is affected by the direct experience of burglary and robbery, using micro-level happiness data from Japan. I find that the direct experience of burglary significantly reduces victims’ reported happiness. In monetary terms, being burglarized is as bad as losing approximately $35,000–$52,500. This paper also tests for heterogeneous effects of victimization on happiness. Happiness of the wealthy, who can afford to lose some money as well as buy some safety, is not affected by the direct experience of burglary or robbery. Crime victimization hurts homeowners more than renters most likely because their barriers to mobility make it difficult for homeowners to move in response to crime victimization. Finally, this paper suggests that victims’ psychological non-pecuniary costs are substantially larger than the pecuniary losses. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Masanori Kuroki, 2013. "Crime Victimization and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Happiness Data," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 783-794, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:3:p:783-794
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-012-9355-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9812-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Crime victimization, neighborhood safety and happiness in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 424-435.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2015. "Victimisation, Wellbeing and Compensation: Using Panel Data to Estimate the Costs of Violent Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 9311, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Iddisah Sulemana, 2015. "An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Ghana," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 1299-1321, October.
    5. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9814-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brenig, Mattheus & Proeger, Till, 2016. "Putting a price tag on security: Subjective well-being and willingness-to-pay for crime reduction in Europe," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 278, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming & Matthew Manning, 2014. "Perception or Reality, What Matters Most When it Comes to Crime in Your Neighbourhood?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 877-896, November.
    8. Iddisah Sulemana, 2015. "The Effect of Fear of Crime and Crime Victimization on Subjective Well-Being in Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 849-872, April.

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    Keywords

    Crime; Victimization; Happiness; Well-being; Japan;

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