IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gun Buybacks and Firm Behavior: Do Buyback Programs Really Reduce the Number of Guns?


  • Gregory E. Goering

    () (Department of Economics, University of Alaska, USA)


We suppose that guns or firearms are subject to an anticipated future buyback program undertaken by the government. A simple linear demand durable-goods monopoly model is then analyzed where the durable-good manufactured is a firearm that lasts for two-periods. The model is calibrated so that buyers are indifferent between selling (participating in the buyback program) or holding the gun in the future period. This allows us to focus solely on the firm¡¯s behavior. We find, among other things, that if the firm can credibly commit to its current buyers the anticipated buyback has no impact on the future stock of guns. In this case, the firm simply increases its production of new firearms after the buyback, and offsets all the units collected and destroyed by the government. However, in contrast, we show that if the seller cannot commit to these buyers, the future stock is indeed reduced (but by only one-half of the buyback program level). Thus, any anticipated (repeated) buyback¡¯s impact on future stock levels of firearms depends critically on the commit ability of the durable-goods manufacturer, independent of the buyers¡¯ reselling and arbitrage activities. Moreover, regardless of commitment ability, the model suggests the imperfectly competitive firms may, at least partially, counteract the buyback program, making any governmental buyback less effective at reducing future firearm stocks than expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory E. Goering, 2011. "Gun Buybacks and Firm Behavior: Do Buyback Programs Really Reduce the Number of Guns?," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 31-42, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bap:journl:110103

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mullin, Wallace P., 2001. "Will gun buyback programs increase the quantity of guns?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 87-102, March.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-332, April.
    3. Gregory Goering & Michael Pippenger, 2002. "Durable Goods Monopoly and Forward Markets," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 271-282.
    4. Christine Neill, 2010. "Do Gun Buybacks Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 462-508.
    5. Goering, Gregory E., 1992. "Oligopolies and product durability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 55-63, March.
    6. Wang-Sheng Lee & Sandy Suardi, 2010. "The Australian Firearms Buyback And Its Effect On Gun Deaths," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 65-79, January.
    7. Jeremy Bulow, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Planned Obsolescence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 729-749.
    8. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    9. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 131-154, Winter.
    10. Butz, David A, 1990. "Durable-Good Monopoly and Best-Price Provisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1062-1076, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Monopoly; Durable goods; Gun buybacks;

    JEL classification:

    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bap:journl:110103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.