Stand Your Ground Laws and Homicides
The controversies surrounding Stand Your Ground laws have recently captured the nation's attention. Since 2005, eighteen states have passed laws extending the right to self-defense with no duty to retreat to any place a person has a legal right to be, and several additional states are debating the adoption of similar legislation. Despite the implications that these laws may have for public safety, there has been little empirical investigation of their impact on crime and victimization. In this paper, we use monthly data from the U.S. Vital Statistics to examine how Stand Your Ground laws affect homicides. We identify the impact of these laws by exploiting variation in the implementation of these laws across states. Our results indicate that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. According to our estimates, between 4.4 and 7.4 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws. We find no evidence to suggest that these laws increase homicides among blacks. Our results are robust to a number of specifications and unlikely to be driven entirely by the killings of assailants. Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2012|
|Publication status:||forthcoming in: The Journal of Human Resources, 2017|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cheng Cheng & Mark Hoekstra, 2012. "Does Strengthening Self-Defense Law Deter Crime or Escalate Violence? Evidence from Castle Doctrine," NBER Working Papers 18134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Duggan, 2001.
"More Guns, More Crime,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1086-1114, October.
- Mark Duggan, 2000. "More Guns, More Crime," NBER Working Papers 7967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, October.
- Kelly Bedard & H. E. Frech, 2009. "Prison health care: is contracting out healthy?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1248-1260.
- Bedard, Kelly & Frech, Ted E, 2007. "Prison Health Care: Is Contracting Out Healthy?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6vh3429f, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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 635-657, October.
- Mocan, H Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Guns and Juvenile Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 507-531, October.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)