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The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data

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  • Jens Ludwig
  • Philip J. Cook

Abstract

This paper presents the first attempt to estimate the benefits of reducing crime using the contingent-valuation (CV) method. We focus on gun violence, a crime of growing policy concern in America. Our data come from a national survey in which we ask respondents referendum-type questions that elicit their willingness-to-pay (WTP) to reduce gun violence by 30 percent. We estimate that the public's WTP to reduce gun violence by 30 percent equals $23.8 billion, or $750,000 per injury. Our estimate implies a statistical value of life ($4.05 to $6.25 million) that is quite consistent with those derived from other methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Ludwig & Philip J. Cook, 1999. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 7166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7166
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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