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The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data

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  • Jens Ludwig
  • Philip J. Cook

Abstract

This paper presents the first attempt to estimate the benefits of reducing crime using the contingent-valuation (CV) method. We focus on gun violence, a crime of growing policy concern in America. Our data come from a national survey in which we ask respondents referendum-type questions that elicit their willingness-to-pay (WTP) to reduce gun violence by 30 percent. We estimate that the public's WTP to reduce gun violence by 30 percent equals $23.8 billion, or $750,000 per injury. Our estimate implies a statistical value of life ($4.05 to $6.25 million) that is quite consistent with those derived from other methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7166.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Ludwig, Jens and Philip J. Cook. "The Benefits Of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence From Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2001, v22(3,May), 207-226.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7166

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  17. Cameron, Trudy Ann & James, Michelle D, 1987. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-ended' Contingent Valuation Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 269-76, May.
  18. Brookshire, David S & Coursey, Don L, 1987. "Measuring the Value of a Public Good: An Empirical Comparison of Elicitation Procedures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 554-66, September.
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