Criminal perceptions and violent criminal victimization

Samuel L. Myers, Chanjin Chung

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    This paper explores the relationship between various measures of prior victimization and indicators of both the perceived victimization risk and fear of crime. Equations are specified and estimated both for the fear of crime/perception of risk and for prior victimization. Since prior victimizations are exogenous to the determination of the current assessment of risk or fear of crime, it is possible to isolate the independent effects of victimization and extraneous factors, like racial neighborhood composition, in a recursive model structure. The analysis also examines the contribution that individual victimization and extraneous factors make to the overall gap between average victimization rates and average indicators of fear. Prior victimization explains some of the rather enormous perception of future victimization, but a sizable gap between perceived risk and actual risk remains. Much ofthat gap appears to be related to proximity to nomvhites, a possible proxy for racial prejudices and beliefs that nonwhite neighborhoods contribute to heightened crime.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)321-333
    Number of pages13
    JournalContemporary Economic Policy
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jul 1998


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