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Title: Valuing intangible costs of violence : a study of stated preferences and victimisation risks
Author: Mylona, Semele-Katherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 7978
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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Violence is a considerable burden on society; the costs incurred through treating victims and apprehending the perpetrators combine with economic costs, the emotional victim costs and costs to the community through increased fear of crime to suggest the costs of violence are significant. A growing number of studies seek to quantify the economic and social impact of crime by assessing the aggregate social costs incurred by criminal offending or by examining the consequences of crime at the individual level, focusing on its effect on the general welfare. Regardless of the approach, tangible and intangible costs are always identified, with the first referring to those directly observable and the latter to the unobservable costs that refer to the physical and emotional impact on crime victims. Despite the importance of both, the available estimates of the intangible costs of violence are very limited, especially in the UK context. This research set out to investigate this gap and provide a new insight into violence costs with a special focus to the intangible losses incurred by pain and suffering. Stated preferences techniques were developed and applied for this purpose, aiming to determine the monetary values of risk reduction of assault-related injuries as assigned by a UK sample to victimisation risks, contingent on the injury severity and psychological outcome. Novel epidemiological research carried out with British Crime Survey and Accident and Emergency data assisted this application, as the drawn evidence formed the basis for constructing plausible scenarios with a representative description of violent victimisation outcomes. The analyses identified that socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, ethnicity), quality of life indicators (self-rated health, income, marital status, educational qualifications) and offence-specific characteristics (use of force/violence, sustained injuries, injury severity, severity of the emotional effect, alcohol consumption prior to the incident) were not only linked to victimisation risks but also predicted severe emotional responding. Altogether, results suggested a two-dimensional structure underlying victims’ emotional reaction and a similar two-dimensional severity-based structure underpinning the physical aftermath of a violent assault. This research concluded with an array of comparable values that denote public's perception of victimisation risks in monetary terms while it highlighted the issues emerging from such an application. The estimation exercise showed that WTP varied extensively across respondents: women were willing to pay more to reduce victimisation related risks and WTP increased with education, age, income and fear of crime. Previous victimisation and difficulty in answering the valuation questions were negative influences on WTP. The numerical findings reflect the importance of victims' costs and provide metrics useful in assessing the cost-effectiveness of crime interventions. Although the contingent valuation method was effective for analysing intangible victim costs providing support for continuing this line of research, further work is required to substantiate its application and strengthen its methodology within the crime context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare