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The interaction between potential criminals' and victims' demands for guns

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  • Bac, Mehmet

Abstract

I develop a model with endogenous gun ownership and study the interaction between the demands for guns by heterogeneous potential offenders and victims. I show that the interaction depends on pervasiveness of guns, injury probabilities and, in particular, the impact of the gun on the probability of success against armed relative to unarmed adversaries. While the sanction on armed offense is maximal under plausible conditions, the sanction on unarmed offense balances direct deterrence benefits against marginal deterrence costs and corresponding net property losses. Optimal gun control policy disarms all offenders but allows the attractive potential victims to own guns. The paper also discusses the effects of enforcement and price controls on the demands for guns and welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:5-6:p:337-343
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chaudhri, Vivek & Geanakoplos, John, 1998. "A note on the economic rationalization of gun control," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 51-53, January.
    2. Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 1998. "Guns, Violence, and the Efficiency of Illegal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 463-467, May.
    3. Mialon, Hugo M. & Wiseman, Thomas, 2005. "The impact of gun laws: A model of crime and self-defense," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 170-175, August.
    4. Polinsky, A. Mitchell, 2006. "The optimal use of fines and imprisonment when wealth is unobservable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 823-835, May.
    5. Cook, Philip J. & Ludwig, Jens, 2006. "The social costs of gun ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 379-391, January.
    6. PhilipJ. Cook & Jens Ludwig & Sudhir Venkatesh & AnthonyA. Braga, 2007. "Underground Gun Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 588-618, November.
    7. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1999. "On the Disutility and Discounting of Imprisonment and the Theory of Deterrence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-16, January.
    8. Mark Duggan, 2001. "More Guns, More Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1086-1114, October.
    9. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khalil, Umair, 2017. "Do more guns lead to more crime? Understanding the role of illegal firearms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 342-361.
    2. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe, 2014. "Regulating harmless activity to fight crime," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 79-95, September.

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