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Counting the cost of crime in Italy

The aim of this paper is to gauge the cost of crime in Italy by concentrating on a subset of offences covering about 64% of total recorded crime in year 2006. Following the breakdown of costs put forward by Brand and Price, we focus on the costs in anticipation, as a consequence and in response to a specific offence. The estimated total social cost is more than € 38 billion, which amounts to about 2.6% of Italy’s GDP. To show the usefulness of these measures, we borrow the elasticity estimates from recent studies concerning the determinants of crime in Italy and calculate the cost associated with the surge in crime fuelled by unemployment and pardons. Indeed, in both cases such costs are substantial, implying that they should no longer be skipped when assessing the relative desirability of public policies towards crime.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201013.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201013
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