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Crime Victimization, Neighbourhood Safety and Happiness in China

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  • Zhiming Cheng
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

We examine the relationship between happiness, crime victimization and neighbourhood safety in China. We find that being a victim of crime, and having an acquaintance who is a victim of crime, have a negative effect on happiness. The cost of compensating someone who is a victim of crime, such that they are returned to the same position as if they had not been victimized, is similar to the cost of compensating someone who has an acquaintance who is a victim of crime (around 60 per cent of annual household income). Females who are victims of crime, and victims of out-of-home theft and assault/threat, feel less victimized if they have an acquaintance who is also a victim of crime with whom to share their experience. Living in a safe neighbourhood has a positive effect on happiness. The amount needed to compensate someone for living in an unsafe, or neutral neighbourhood, as opposed to safe neighbourhood, is 1500 per cent of annual household income, which is much higher than the shadow price suggested by previous studies for the United States and United Kingdom.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2015. "Crime Victimization, Neighbourhood Safety and Happiness in China," Monash Economics Working Papers 08-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2015-08
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    8. 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.
    9. Rafiq, Shuddhasattwa & Salim, Ruhul & Smyth, Russell, 2016. "The moderating role of firm age in the relationship between R&D expenditure and financial performance: Evidence from Chinese and US mining firms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 122-132.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Crime victimization; Neighbourhood safety; Happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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