The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction

Mark A. Cohen

in Law and Happiness

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226676005
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226676029 | DOI:
The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction

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Crime often ranks at the top of public concern, and a majority of the public report they sometimes worry about crime. Yet it is little known about crime's impact on day-to-day quality of life. This chapter provides new evidence using a combination of objective crime risk data and responses to subjective evaluations about quality of life. It is found 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, estimation for a compensating income equivalent is 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.

Keywords: crime rate; quality of life; life satisfaction; neighborhood safety; health; crime; home burglary

Chapter.  9819 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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