Costs of Crime in Canada, 2008

Appendix D: Intangible Costs

Table 1: Value of Pain and Suffering
Number of sexual assault victims (Main File, 2004 GSS) 20,030
Number of sexual assault victims  (Incident File, 2004 GSS) 512,157
Total number of sexual assault victims (20,030 + 512,157) 532,187
Pain and suffering per sexual assault victim 2008 $84,500 a
Value of pain and suffering for sexual assault victims (532,187 * $84,500) $44,969,801,500
Number of assault victims (Main File) 347,065
Number of assault victims (Incident File) 1,323,152
Total number of assault victims (347,065 +1,323,152) 1,670,217
Pain and suffering per assault victim 2008 $9,547 a
Value of pain and suffering for assault victims (1,670,217 * $9,547) $15,945,561,699
Number of robbery victims (Incident File) 273,748 b
Pain and suffering per robbery victim 2008 $14,471 a
Value of pain and suffering for robbery victims (273,748 * $14,471) $3,961,407,308
Number of break-and-enter victims (Incident File) 363,249
Pain and suffering per break-and-enter victim 2008 $615 a
Value of pain and suffering for break-and-enter victims (363,249 * $615) $223,398,135
Total Value of Pain and Suffering $65,100,168,642

Table 2: Value of Loss of Life
Number of homicide victims 2008 611
Proposed dollar value of a lost human life $5,000,000 a
Total Value of Loss of Life (611 * $5,000,000) $3,055,000,000

a.This is a conservative estimate based on the following information.

Over the past three decades, a broad body of economic research has been published on estimates of the value of an anonymous human life. Most studies show that, on an ex ante basis, life is routinely valued at two to three million dollars (Miller 1990; Fisher et al. 1989; Viscusi 1993).

While there is no explicit standard used by government agencies, in a review of federal agency regulations Gillette and Hopkins (1988) conclude that the range is $1 million to $2 million per statistical life saved.

Viscusi (2000) suggests the statistical value of a statistical life for the average worker in the U.S. between USD $3 million and USD $9 million. An estimate of CAD $5.3 million per life in 2008 can be obtained by converting the conservative estimate (USD$3 million) to the 2008 Canadian dollars.

Viscusi (2008) conducts a comprehensive literature review in the domain of estimating the statistical value of a life and concludes that the average value based on labour market is about $7 million.

By considering future wages, productivity as well as lost quality of life, Miller et al. (1996) estimates the statistical value of a life for a 38-year-old male at USD$2.7 million. This is equivalent to CAD$4.6 million in 2008.

Based on ex post behaviour, Smith (2000) estimates the value of life of USD$2.3 million to USD$4.9 million.

The Department of Transportation of the United States (2007) suggests an average 5.8 million as they believe this value would appropriately reflect the conclusions of recent studies as well as the practice of other agencies. In addition, they argue that although the value of a statistical life within the range of $1 million and $10 million (or even more extreme values) can not be ruled out, it would be preferable to show values that are more likely to be accepted as realistic.

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