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Guns and Juvenile Crime

  • Mocan, H Naci
  • Tekin, Erdal

Using a nationally representative panel data set of U.S. high school students, this paper investigates the effect of gun availability at home on robbery, burglary, theft, and property damage for juveniles. Controlling for a very large number of personal and family characteristics and exploiting the time variation in criminal activity and gun availability, we show that gun availability at home is positively related to the propensity to commit crime for juveniles. It is unlikely that gun availability is merely a measure of the unobserved home environment because it does not influence other behaviors of juveniles such as drinking and fighting, being expelled from school, and having sex. No support is found for the hypothesis that gun availability decreases the propensity for being victimized.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/508330
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 49 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 507-31

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:2:p:507-31
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
  3. 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.
  4. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1993. "Estimates of the Returns to Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons and Brothers," NBER Working Papers 4491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mustard, David B, 2001. "The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 635-57, October.
  7. Marvell, Thomas B, 2001. "The Impact of Banning Juvenile Gun Possession," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 691-713, October.
  8. Parker, Jeffrey S, 2001. "Guns, Crime, and Academics: Some Reflections on the Gun Control Debate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 715-23, October.
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