Guns and Juvenile Crime
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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