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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Research project: A Unified Approach to Measuring the Costs of Violent Crime Risk

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The key aim of the project is to understand the myriad costs, both objective and subjective, of a recent homicide on local residents.

In order to better understand the societal costs of local violent crime, our research aims to answer three related questions:

1) How much does a recent murder affect house prices in the neighbourhood? Using state-of-the-art economic models, we estimate households' willingness to pay to avoid violent crime risk. This is our key approach to measuring the financial cost of a recent, local murder.

2) Are individuals' life satisfaction and perceptions of crime risk adversely affected by an unexpected violent crime event in the local area? Widening the scope of our research to incorporate these subjective measures enables us to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the societal costs of violent crime incidence.

3) To what extent are subjective outcomes the mechanism at play behind house price changes? This is crucial to both shed light on the complexities of the behavioural response of individuals to criminal events and to improve the design of policies that cope with the effects of crime.

We ask these questions against a backdrop of both rising rates of homicide and almost a decade of year-on-year austerity-inflicted disinvestments in policing. Such a backdrop underscores the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the full scope of costs associated with local violent crime.

This is project is funded by the ESRC.

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