The Uneasy Case for a Ransom Tax

B. Nieuwesteeg*, M. Faure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The goal of our paper is to demonstrate the potential effects of a tax on paying a ransom on the incentives of stakeholders involved: both the perpetrators (the attackers placing the ransomware) as well as the potential victim. We do think that there is a case for a ransom tax, but we do also realise that it is not easy to make that case, and hence we express this doubt in our title. A tax could stimulate ex ante cybersecurity and also (when price elasticity is not too low) reduce ex post ransom payments. In addition, a tax in combination with a smartly designed subsidy could have benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-398
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Risk Regulation
Issue number2
Early online date1 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • cyber insurance
  • cyber risk
  • cybersecurity
  • ransomware
  • taxation
  • private
  • victim


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