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Guns, Drugs and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Panel of Siblings and Twins

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Author Info

  • Mocan, Naci

    ()
    (Louisiana State University)

  • Tekin, Erdal

    ()
    (American University)

Abstract

Using a nationally-representative panel data set of U.S. high school students (AddHealth data) that contains a relatively large sample of siblings and twins, the paper investigates the impacts of gun availability at home and individual drug use on robbery, burglary, theft and damaging property for juveniles. Using a variety of fixed-effects models that exploit variations over time and between siblings and twins, the results show that gun availability at home increases the propensity to commit crime by about two percentage points for juveniles but has no impact on damaging property. The results indicate that it is unlikely that gun availability is merely a measure of the unobserved home environment because gun availability does not influence other risky or bad behaviors of juveniles such as smoking, drinking and fighting, being expelled from school, lying, and having sex. No support is found for the hypothesis that gun availability decreases the propensity for being victimized. In fact, the results show that having access to guns increases the probability of being cut or stabbed by someone and of someone pulling a knife or gun on the juvenile. Estimates obtained from models that exploit variations over time and between siblings and twins indicate that drug use has a significant impact on the propensity to commit crime. We find that the median impact of cocaine use on the propensity to commit various types of crimes is 11 percentage points. The impact of using inhalants or other drugs is an increase in the propensity to commit crime by 7 and 6 percentage points, respectively.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 932.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Law and Economics, 2006, 49(2), 507-532
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp932

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Keywords: drugs; crime; juvenile; twins; guns;

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References

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  1. H. Naci Mocan & Daniel I. Rees, 1999. "Economic Conditions, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 7405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," NBER Working Papers 5268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1993. "Estimates of the Returns to Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons and Brothers," NBER Working Papers 4491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mocan, H. Naci & Tekin, Erdal & Zax, Jeffrey S., 2004. "The Demand for Medical Care in Urban China," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 289-304, February.
  12. Hope Corman & Naci Mocan, 2002. "Carrots, Sticks and Broken Windows," NBER Working Papers 9061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Fortin, Pierre & Keil, Manfred & Symons, James, 2001. "The Sources of Unemployment in Canada, 1967-91: Evidence from a Panel of Regions and Demographic Groups," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 67-93, January.
  15. H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2000. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," NBER Working Papers 7584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sara Markowitz, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of Alcohol, Drugs, and Violent Crime in the National Crime Victimization Survey," NBER Working Papers 7982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Grossman & Robert Kaestner & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 413-441, 09.
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  21. Jeff Grogger & Michael Willis, 2000. "The Emergence Of Crack Cocaine And The Rise In Urban Crime Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 519-529, November.
  22. Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, 2002. "Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 9336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Marvell, Thomas B, 2001. "The Impact of Banning Juvenile Gun Possession," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 691-713, October.
  26. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  27. Parker, Jeffrey S, 2001. "Guns, Crime, and Academics: Some Reflections on the Gun Control Debate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 715-23, October.
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  32. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Jody L. Sindelar, 2002. "Drug Treatment as a Crime Fighting Tool," NBER Working Papers 9038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
  34. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2013. "The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation," Borradores de Economia 774, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  2. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2006. "Ugly Criminals," NBER Working Papers 12019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Erdal Tekin, 2014. "Fathers and youths’ delinquent behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 327-358, June.
  4. Brezina, Timothy & Tekin, Erdal & Topalli, Volkan, 2008. ""Might Not Be a Tomorrow": A Multi-Methods Approach to Anticipated Early Death and Youth Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 3831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Currie, Janet & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 2063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin & Lan Liang, . "Do Adolescents with Emotional or Behavioral Problems Respond to Cigarette Prices?," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University 2008-06, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  7. Waddell, Glen R., 2010. "Gender and the Influence of Peer Alcohol Consumption on Adolescent Sexual Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 4880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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