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Underground Gun Markets

Author

Listed:
  • PhilipJ. Cook
  • Jens Ludwig
  • Sudhir Venkatesh
  • AnthonyA. Braga

Abstract

This article 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 teenagers 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 that transactions costs are considerable in the underground gun market in Chicago, and to some extent in other cities as well. The most likely explanation is that the underground gun market is both illegal and 'thin'- relevant information about trading opportunities is scarce due to illegality, which makes search costly for market participants and leads to a market thickness effect on transaction costs. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • PhilipJ. Cook & Jens Ludwig & Sudhir Venkatesh & AnthonyA. Braga, 2007. "Underground Gun Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 588-618, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:524:p:f588-f618
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    Cited by:

    1. Kahane, Leo H., 2020. "State gun laws and the movement of crime guns between states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    2. Seiffert, Sebastian Daniel & Kukharskyy, Bohdan, 2016. "Gun Violence in the US: Correlates and Causes," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145946, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Papachristos, Andrew V. & Wildeman, Christopher & Roberto, Elizabeth, 2015. "Tragic, but not random: The social contagion of nonfatal gunshot injuries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 139-150.
    4. David Fortunato, 2015. "Can Easing Concealed Carry Deter Crime?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1071-1085, December.
    5. Rigby, Dan & Burton, Michael & Balcombe, Kelvin & Bateman, Ian & Mulatu, Abay, 2015. "Contract cheating & the market in essays," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 23-37.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Saito, Tetsuya, 2010. "Taxing guns vs. taxing crime: An application of the "market for offenses model"," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 670-689, September.
    7. Leo H. Kahane, 2013. "Understanding The Interstate Export Of Crime Guns: A Gravity Model Approach," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 618-634, July.
    8. Philip J. Cook & John MacDonald, 2010. "Public Safety through Private Action: An economic assessment of BIDs, locks, and citizen cooperation," NBER Working Papers 15877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Iain W. Long, 2017. "The Storm Before the Calm? Adverse Effects of Tackling Organized Crime," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(5), pages 541-576, September.
    10. Ciomek, Alexandra M. & Braga, Anthony A. & Papachristos, Andrew V., 2020. "The influence of firearms trafficking on gunshot injuries in a co-offending network," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).
    11. Bac, Mehmet, 2010. "The interaction between potential criminals' and victims' demands for guns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 337-343, June.
    12. Long, Iain W., 2013. "Recruitment to Organised Crime," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2013/10, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    13. T. Randolph Beard & Richard Alan Seals Jr. & Michael L. Stern, 2014. "Security and Government Credibility," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-07, Department of Economics, Auburn University.

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