Crime Costs to the Public in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-296
Journal / PublicationSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Online published8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


The cost of crime to the public, as a public concern, requires an estimation pertinent to the context, considering substantial contextual variation. Meanwhile, the estimation needs to address issues about feasibility and validity. To address the issues, the present study exemplifies the estimation with both official accounting and tripartite willingness-to-pay approaches. The tripartite approach combines the cost components of rehabilitation, criminal justice and prevention due to crime. This approach relied on telephone surveys of 1321 adult residents among the public and 91 professionals dealing with crime in the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong. Results showed that the public crime cost estimates were $8343 from accounting and US$7466 and US$11,786 from the surveys of public and professionals respectively. The public’s estimate was significantly predictable by background characteristics, as expected from economic theory. These results imply the feasibility and validity of the estimation approaches.

Research Area(s)

  • Official account, Public crime cost, Willingness to pay