Research Summary: We use survey data from a nationally representative sample to explore public support for taxpayer-funded victim compensation programs for financial fraud, consumer fraud, identity theft, and burglary. We use contingent valuation (willingness-to-pay) methodology to infer preferences for compensation programs and explore predictors of those preferences. Overall, our findings reveal that the public strongly supports the implementation of victim compensation programs. Our results also indicate, however, that this support may be driven in part by perceptions of benefiting from this program directly in the future. Additionally, a small but notable minority of respondents exhibit preferences for programs without compensation. Policy Implications: Our findings suggest that the general public is supportive of restitutive compensation programs, not only as paid for by offenders but also as paid for by the government. We suggest that policy makers may seek to extend victim compensation funds to white-collar crimes, which may otherwise be more financially damaging than traditional crimes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Administration