The Economic Costs of Crime and Justice in the United States

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 308 (Hynes Convention Center)
The economic costs of interpersonal and white collar crime in the United States are staggering, running into the trillions of dollars. These costs are borne by virtually every member of society: victims and offenders, businesses, individual citizens, and the state. The sources of these costs are wide-ranging, including (among countless other items) stolen money and goods, medical care for physical and mental health, public and private policing, higher costs of goods and services, expansive court systems, lost wages, jails and prisons, legal fees, home and personal security, crime reduction strategies of all sorts, and higher taxes. The scholars on this panel, economists who are all members of the American Society of Criminology, use carefully constructed datasets and sophisticated methods to: reveal that the monetary costs of youth violence are so large that even programs and interventions with small effects are worthwhile economic  investments; examine how private incentives align with public interests via business improvement districts that have positive spillover effects on crime reduction and that have an estimated benefit-to-cost ratio of 20-to-1; and compare the costs of street and white collar crime and consider the public’s willingness-to-pay to respond to and reduce the latter. The findings and frameworks for future analysis presented by these scholars elucidate the tremendous economic costs of crime and have direct implications for our responses to it.
William Alex Pridemore, Georgia State University
William Alex Pridemore, Georgia State University
Peter Reuter, University of Maryland
Mark A. Cohen, Vanderbilt University
Economic Costs of White-Collar Versus Street Crime