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The economic costs of child maltreatment in UK

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriella Conti

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Elena Pizzo

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Stephen Morris

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Mariya Melnychuk

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

Child maltreatment is a major public health problem with significant consequences for individual victims and for society. In this paper we quantify for the first time the economic costs of fatal and non-fatal child maltreatment in the UK in relation to several short-, medium- and long-term outcomes ranging from physical and mental health problems, to labour market outcomes and welfare use. We combine novel regression analysis of rich data from the National Child Development Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing with secondary evidence to produce an incidence-based estimate of the lifetime costs of child maltreatment from a societal perspective. The discounted average lifetime incidence cost of non-fatal child maltreatment by a primary caregiver is estimated at £89,390 (95% uncertainty interval £44,896 to £145,508); the largest contributors to this are costs from social care, short-term health and long-term labour market outcomes. The discounted lifetime cost per death from child maltreatment is estimated at £940,758, comprising health care and lost productivity costs. Our estimates provide the first comprehensive benchmark to quantify the costs of child maltreatment in the UK and the benefits of interventions aimed at reducing or preventing it.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Conti & Elena Pizzo & Stephen Morris & Mariya Melnychuk, 2021. "The economic costs of child maltreatment in UK," IFS Working Papers W21/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:21/22
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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