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Underground Gun Markets

  • Philip J. Cook

    ()

  • Jens Ludwig

    ()

  • Sudhir A. Venkatesh

    ()

  • Anthony A. Braga

    ()

This paper provides an economic analysis of underground gun markets drawing on interviews with gang members, gun dealers, professional thieves, prostitutes, police, public school security guards and teens in the city of Chicago, complemented by results from government surveys of recent arrestees in 22 cities plus administrative data for suicides, homicides, robberies, arrests and confiscated crime guns. We find evidence of considerable frictions in the underground market for guns in Chicago. We argue that these frictions are due primarily to the fact that the underground gun market is both illegal and “thin†the number of buyers, sellers and total transactions is small and relevant information is scarce. Gangs can help overcome these market frictions, but the gang’s economic interests cause gang leaders to limit supply primarily to gang members, and even then transactions are usually loans or rentals with strings attached.

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:245.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:245
Note: Institutional Papers
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  1. Li Gan & Qinghua Zhang, 2005. "The Thick Market Effect on Local Unemployment Rate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cooper, Suzanne & Piehl, Anne Morrison & Braga, Anthony & Kennedy, David, 2001. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," Working Paper Series rwp01-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Li Gan & Qi Li, 2004. "Efficiency of Thin and Thick Markets," NBER Working Papers 10815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Roland G. Fryer & Paul S. Heaton & Steven D. Levitt & Kevin M. Murphy, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine," NBER Working Papers 11318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Mark Duggan, 2000. "More Guns, More Crime," NBER Working Papers 7967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Donohue John, 2004. "Clinton and Bush's Report Cards on Crime Reduction: The Data Show Bush Policies Are Undermining Clinton Gains," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-10, September.
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