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State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing

  • Brian G. Knight

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of cross-state externalities associated with gun regulations in the context of the gun trafficking market. Using gun tracing data, which identify the source state for crime guns recovered in destination states, we find that firearms in this market tend to flow from states with weak gun laws to states with strict gun laws, satisfying a necessary condition for the existence of cross-state externalities in the theoretical model. We also find an important role for transportation costs in this market, with gun flows more significant between nearby states; this finding suggests that externalities are spatial in nature. Finally, we present evidence that criminal possession of guns is higher in states exposed to weak gun laws in nearby states.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17469.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17469.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Publication status: published as Brian Knight, 2013. "State Gun Policy and Cross-State Externalities: Evidence from Crime Gun Tracing," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 200-229, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17469
Note: PE POL
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  8. Lovenheim, Michael F., 2008. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(1), pages 7-33, March.
  9. Brian G. Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2010. "Spatial Competition and Cross-border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 15713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Duggan, 2000. "More Guns, More Crime," NBER Working Papers 7967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  12. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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  14. Black, Dan A & Nagin, Daniel S, 1998. "Do Right-to-Carry Laws Deter Violent Crime?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 209-19, January.
  15. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  16. Burruss, George W. & Decker, Scott H., 2002. "Gun violence and police problem solving: A research note examining alternative data sources," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 567-574.
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