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Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis

  • Miron, Jeffrey A

Violence rates differ dramatically across countries. A widely held view is that these differences reflect differences in gun control and/or gun availability, and certain pieces of evidence appear consistent with this hypothesis. A more detailed examination of this evidence suggests that the role of gun control/availability is not compelling. This more detailed examination, however, does not provide an alternative explanation for cross-country differences in violence. This paper suggests that differences in the enforcement of drug prohibition are an important factor in explaining differences in violence rates across countries. To determine the validity of this hypothesis, the paper examines data on homicide rates, drug prohibition enforcement, and gun control policy for a broad range of countries. The results suggest a role for drug prohibition enforcement in explaining cross-country differences in violence, and they provide an alternative explanation for some of the apparent effects of gun control/availability on violence rates. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340507
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 615-33

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:2:p:615-33
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Benson, Bruce L. & Rasmussen, David W. & Kim, Iljoong, 1998. "Deterrence and Public Policy: Trade-Offs in the Allocation of Police Resources," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 77-100, March.
  4. Miron, Jeffrey A, 2001. "Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 615-33, October.
  5. David L. Sollars & Bruce L. Benson & David W. Rasmussen, 1994. "Drug Enforcement and the Deterrence of Property Crime Among Local Jurisdictions," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 22-45, January.
  6. Harold J. Brumm and Dale O. Cloninger, 1995. "The Drug War and the Homicide Rate: A Direct Correlation?," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 14(3), pages 509-517, Winter.
  7. David W. Rasmussen & Bruce L. Benson & David L. Sollars, 1993. "Spatial Competition In Illicit Drug Markets: The Consequences Of Increased Drug Law Enforcement," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 23(3), pages 219-236, Winter.
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