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Economic Benefits of Reducing Violent Crime: A Case Study of 8 American Cities

NCJ Number
Robert J. Shapiro; Kevin A. Hassett
Date Published
June 2012
76 pages
This study examined the economic benefits that resulted from eight cities' efforts to reduce violent crime.
Highlights from the study's findings on the economic benefits of reducing violent crime include the following: in five of the eight cities examined in this study, a 10 percent reduction in homicides lead to a 0.83 percent increase in housing values, while a 25 percent decrease in homicides resulted in a 2.1 percent increase in housing prices. Using these results, it was estimated that the value of residential real estate in the eight cities would see substantial increases leading to a substantial increase in revenues from property taxes. In addition, a reduction in the number of homicides would lead to a decrease in the direct annual costs of violent crime, as well as a decrease in the pain and suffering of the victims of the violent crime. The eight cities included in the study were Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, and Houston. The study examined the economic benefits that would result in these cities as a result of successful efforts by city officials and law enforcement personnel aimed at reducing violent crime. The types of violent crime included in the study were murder, rape, assault, and robbery. The findings indicate that reductions in violent crime rates can lead to significant savings for municipal budgets while residents would gain from increased housing values and decreased levels of pain and suffering. Figures, tables, references, and appendixes