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The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction

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  • Mark A. Cohen

Abstract

Crime often ranks at the top of public concern, and a majority of the public report they sometimes worry about crime. Yet we know little about crime's impact on day-to-day quality of life. This paper provides new evidence on crime's effect on life satisfaction using a combination of victimization and subjective survey data. I find that county-level crime rates and perceived neighborhood safety have little impact on overall life satisfaction. In contrast, the effect of a home burglary on life satisfaction is quite large-nearly as much as moving from excellent health to good health. In monetary terms, I estimate a compensating income equivalent of nearly $85,000 for a home burglary. Thus, while being burglarized has a large and significant effect on a victim's overall life satisfaction, neither county-level crime rates nor neighborhood safety appear to have very large effects on daily life satisfaction for the average American. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Mark A. Cohen, 2008. "The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 325-353, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:37:y:2008:i:s2:p:s325-s353
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Crime victimization, neighborhood safety and happiness in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 424-435.
    2. Pedersen, Peder J. & Schmidt, Torben Dall, 2009. "Happiness in Europe: Cross-Country Differences in the Determinants of Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 4538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 139-160, October.
    4. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9814-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Paul Dolan & Daniel Fujiwara & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "A Step towards Valuing Utility the Marginal and Cardinal Way," CEP Discussion Papers dp1062, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2009. "Happiness, Ideology and Crime in Argentine Cities," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1662, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Carlos Medina & Christian Posso & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2011. "Costos de la violencia urbana y políticas públicas: algunas lecciones de Medellín," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 009076, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    10. Christopher L Ambrey & Christopher M Fleming & Matthew Manning, 2013. "The life satisfaction approach to estimating the cost of crime: An individual's willingness-to-pay for crime reduction," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201301, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    11. 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).
    12. Jantsch, Antje & Wunder, Christoph & Hirschauer, Norbert, 2016. "Lebensqualität In Deutschland – Ein Vergleich Von Ländlichen Und Städtischen Regionen," 56th Annual Conference, Bonn, Germany, September 28-30, 2016 244798, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    13. Carlos Medina & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2011. "An Assessment of How Urban Crime and Victimization Affects Life Satisfaction," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 007876, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    14. Mervin, Merehau Cindy & Frijters, Paul, 2014. "Is shared misery double misery?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 68-77.
    15. Beckmann, Michael & Cornelissen, Thomas & Schauenberg, Bernd, 2009. "Fixed-term Employment, Work Organization and Job Satisfaction : Evidence from German Individual-Level Data," Working papers 2009/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    16. 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.
    17. Douhou, Salima & Van Soest, Arthur, 2013. "Explaining subjective well-being: The role of victimization, trust, health, and social norms," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 52-78.
    18. 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.
    19. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9775-4 is not listed on IDEAS

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