The papers collected for this volume represent output from an EC Sixth Framework programme entitled Mainstreaming Methodology for Estimating the Costs of Crime (MMECCC).
Various methods for estimating the costs of crime have been proposed. Most rely on economics to suggest methods, although they differ widely in their approach. The most fundamental difference is between the application of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches. The former are more conceptually sophisticated and rely on the idea that the cost of crime is best assessed by the public’s willingness-to-pay for its reduction. It is an approach that is challenging to implement empirically because of the difficulty of framing questions that will induce reliable responses from which the relevant values can be recovered.
The alternative is more mundane and involves building up line-by-line estimates of the various kinds of costs crimes impose. This is usually done by splitting costs into three main types: the costs to victims...