Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 783–794 | Cite as

Crime Victimization and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Happiness Data

  • Masanori Kuroki
Research Paper


Crime hurts victims financially and often physically. This paper examines how individual well-being is affected by the direct experience of burglary and robbery, using micro-level happiness data from Japan. I find that the direct experience of burglary significantly reduces victims’ reported happiness. In monetary terms, being burglarized is as bad as losing approximately $35,000–$52,500. This paper also tests for heterogeneous effects of victimization on happiness. Happiness of the wealthy, who can afford to lose some money as well as buy some safety, is not affected by the direct experience of burglary or robbery. Crime victimization hurts homeowners more than renters most likely because their barriers to mobility make it difficult for homeowners to move in response to crime victimization. Finally, this paper suggests that victims’ psychological non-pecuniary costs are substantially larger than the pecuniary losses.


Crime Victimization Happiness Well-being Japan 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsOccidental CollegeLos AngelesUSA

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