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Underground Gun Markets

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Author Info

  • Philip J. Cook

    ()

  • Jens Ludwig

    ()

  • Sudhir A. Venkatesh

    ()

  • Anthony A. Braga

    ()

Abstract

This paper provides an economic analysis of underground gun markets drawing on interviews with gang members, gun dealers, professional thieves, prostitutes, police, public school security guards and teens in the city of Chicago, complemented by results from government surveys of recent arrestees in 22 cities plus administrative data for suicides, homicides, robberies, arrests and confiscated crime guns. We find evidence of considerable frictions in the underground market for guns in Chicago. We argue that these frictions are due primarily to the fact that the underground gun market is both illegal and “thin” the number of buyers, sellers and total transactions is small and relevant information is scarce. Gangs can help overcome these market frictions, but the gang’s economic interests cause gang leaders to limit supply primarily to gang members, and even then transactions are usually loans or rentals with strings attached.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:245.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:245

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Related research

Keywords: gangs; guns; gun dealers; prostitutes; security guards; teens; police; Chicago; suicides; homicides; robberies; arrests; crime; violence; Sociology; Economics; Anthropology;

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References

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  1. Gan, Li & Zhang, Qinghua, 2006. "The thick market effect on local unemployment rate fluctuations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 127-152, July.
  2. Mark Duggan, 2001. "More Guns, More Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1086-1114, October.
  3. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  4. Anne Morrison Piehl & Suzanne J. Cooper & Anthony A. Braga & David M. Kennedy, 2003. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 550-558, August.
  5. Li Gan & Qi Li, 2004. "Efficiency of Thin and Thick Markets," NBER Working Papers 10815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roland G. Fryer & Paul S. Heaton & Steven D. Levitt & Kevin M. Murphy, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine," NBER Working Papers 11318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Donohue John, 2004. "Clinton and Bush's Report Cards on Crime Reduction: The Data Show Bush Policies Are Undermining Clinton Gains," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-10, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2006. "Aiming for evidence-based gun policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 691-735.
  2. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig, 2005. "Is Crime Contagious?," Working Papers 85, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Brian Knight, 2013. "State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 200-229, November.
  4. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2010. "Economical Crime Control," NBER Working Papers 16513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig & Adam Samaha, 2009. "Gun Control after Heller: Litigating against Regulation," NBER Working Papers 15431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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