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The Australian Firearms Buyback and Its Effect on Gun Deaths

  • Wang-Sheng Lee

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Sandy Suardi

    (Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University)

The 1996-97 National Firearms Agreement (NFA) in Australia introduced strict gun laws, primarily as a reaction to the mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996, where 35 people were killed. Despite the fact that several researchers using the same data have examined the impact of the NFA on firearm deaths, a consensus does not appear to have been reached. In this paper, we re-analyze the same data on firearm deaths used in previous research, using tests for unknown structural breaks as a means to identifying impacts of the NFA. The results of these tests suggest that the NFA did not have any large effects on reducing firearm homicide or suicide rates.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2008n17.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2008n17
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Anne Morrison Piehl & Suzanne J. Cooper & Anthony A. Braga & David M. Kennedy, 2003. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 550-558, August.
  2. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  3. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Hansen, Bruce E, 1997. "Approximate Asymptotic P Values for Structural-Change Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 60-67, January.
  5. Baker, J & McPhedran, S, 2007. "Gun laws and sudden death: Did the Australian firearms legislation of 1996 make a difference?," MPRA Paper 40534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Christine Neill & Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Weak Tests and Strong Conclusions: A Re-Analysis of Gun Deaths and the Australian Firearms Buyback," CEPR Discussion Papers 555, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  8. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
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