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

  • Ludwig, Jens
  • Cook, Philip J

This article presents an estimate of 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 assaults by 30 percent equals $24.5 billion, or around $1.2 million per injury. Our estimate implies a statistical value of life that is quite consistent with those derived from other methods. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 207-26

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:22:y:2001:i:3:p:207-26
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  1. Michael J. Moore & W. Kip Viscusi, 1987. "Doubling the estimated value of life: Results using new occupational fatality data," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 476-490.
  2. Trudy Ann Cameron & Michelle D. James, 1986. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-Ended" Contingent Valuation Surveys," UCLA Economics Working Papers 404, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Cameron Trudy Ann & Quiggin John, 1994. "Estimation Using Contingent Valuation Data from a Dichotomous Choice with Follow-Up Questionnaire," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 218-234, November.
  4. Brookshire, David S, et al, 1982. "Valuing Public Goods: A Comparison of Survey and Hedonic Approaches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 165-77, March.
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  9. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1988. "A new paradigm for valuing non-market goods using referendum data: Maximum likelihood estimation by censored logistic regression," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 355-379, September.
  12. Smith, V. Kerry, 1992. "Arbitrary values, good causes, and premature verdicts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-89, January.
  13. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 1998. "An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances," NBER Working Papers 6592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Ted Gayer & James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 2000. "Private Values Of Risk Tradeoffs At Superfund Sites: Housing Market Evidence On Learning About Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 439-451, August.
  17. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1996. "Fatal Tradeoffs: Public and Private Responsibilities for Risk," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102932, March.
  18. Manning, Willard G., 1998. "The logged dependent variable, heteroscedasticity, and the retransformation problem," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-295, June.
  19. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-56, December.
  20. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
  21. Alberini Anna, 1995. "Efficiency vs Bias of Willingness-to-Pay Estimates: Bivariate and Interval-Data Models," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 169-180, September.
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