The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime: An Exercise in Replication
In an article published in 2011, Aneja, Donohue and Zhang found that shall-issue or right-to-carry (RTC) concealed weapons laws have no effect on any crime except for a positive effect on assault. This paper reports a replication of their basic findings and some corresponding robustness checks, which reveal a serious omitted variable problem. Once corrected for omitted variables, the most robust result, confirmed using both county and state data, is that RTC laws significantly reduce murder. There is no robust, consistent evidence that RTC laws have any significant effect on other violent crimes, including assault. There is some weak evidence that RTC laws increase robbery and assault while decreasing rape. Given that the victim costs of murder and rape are much higher than the costs of robbery and assault, the evidence shows that RTC laws are socially beneficial.
Volume (Year): 4 (2014)
Issue (Month): (Feburary)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Abhay Aneja & John J. Donohue & Alexandria Zhang, 2011. "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws and the NRC Report: Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 565-631.
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- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Carlisle E. Moody & John R. Lott, Jr. & Thomas B. Marvell, 2013. "Did John Lott Provide Bad Data to the NRC? A Note on Aneja, Donohue, and Zhang," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 10(1), pages 25-31, January.
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