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Unformatted text preview: NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES SHOOTING DOWN THE MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME HYPOTHESIS Ian Ayres John J. Don o hue III Working Paper 9336 http://www.nber.org/papers/w9336 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 November 2002 We thank John Lott for generously sharing his state and county data sets with us. David Autor, Alan Krueger, Steven Levitt and seminar participants at Harvard, Columbia, and Washington and Lee law schools provided valuable comments. Jennifer Chang, Craig Estes, Melissa Ohsfeldt Landman, David Powell, Matt Spiegelman, Fred Vars, and Nasser Zakariya provided superb research assistance. We also gratefully acknowledge the research support we have received from Yale and Stanford Universities. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. © 2002 by Ian Ayres and John J. Don o hue III. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source. Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis Ian Ayres and John J. Don o hue III NBER Working Paper No. 9336 November 2002 JEL No. H0, K0 ABSTRACT John Lott and David Mustard have used regression analysis to argue forcefully that " shall-issue " laws (which give citizens an unimpeded right to secure permits for concealed weapons) reduce violent crime. While certain facially plausible statistical models appear to generate this conclusion, more refined analyses of more recent state and county data undermine the more guns, less crime hypothesis. The most robust finding on the state data is that certain property crimes rise with passage of shall- issue laws, although the absence of any clear theory as to why this would be the case tends to undercut any strong conclusions. Estimating more statistically preferred disaggregated models on more complete county data, we show that in most states shall- issue laws have been associated with more crime and that the apparent stimulus to crime tends to be especially strong for those states that adopted in the last decade. While there are substantial concerns about model reliability and robustness, we present estimates based on disaggregated county data models that on net the passage of the law in 24 jurisdictions has increased the annual cost of crime slightly -- somewhere on the order of half a billion dollars. We also provide an illustration of how our jurisdiction-specific regression model has the capacity to generate more nuanced assessments concerning which states might profit from or be harmed by a particular legal intervention....
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- Spring '06
- ........., Concealed carry in the United States, John R. Lott