This study aims to estimate the social costs of crime committed in Korea in 2008. It is widely recognized that estimating social costs of crime is an essential basis for criminal justice policy and decision making. However, to date there have been few studies on the social costs of crime in Korea. Therefore, this study will play a significant role in developing crime-related studies.
The methodology of this study is as follows. Firstly, categorize the types and scope of crime, define the main concepts such as opportunity costs, transfer payments, and social costs vs economic costs, and confirm measurable factors, all of which are necessary to measure crime costs. Secondly, divide the costs relating to crime into three categories, and estimate them: costs in prevention of crime, costs as a consequence of crime, and costs in response to crime.
The analysis of this study follows the direct estimation due to the severity of types and the incidence of crime. The advantage of this approach is to consider the types of crime according to their importance. but it does not include all types of crime in Korea.
The results show that the total costs of crime in Korea in 2008 are approximately 37trillion KRW per year. More specifically, about 11.5trillion KRW is estimated as the costs in anticipation of crime, 15.5trillion KRW is estimated as costs as a consequence of crime, and 9.6trillion KRW for response to crime.
However, due to the shortage of data, the result of this study is not fully reliable and verified. Most estimates of costs as a consequence of crime are made using relevant Korean data but since there is enough data available, it has no choice but to have an over or under estimates. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance that follow-up studies are conducted in order to measure social costs of crime in Korea accurately.