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Guns, Drugs and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Panel of Siblings and Twins

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  • H. Naci Mocan
  • Erdal Tekin

Abstract

Using a nationally-representative panel data set of U.S. high school students (AddHealth data) that contains a relatively large sample of siblings and twins, the paper investigates the impacts of gun availability at home and individual drug use on robbery, burglary, theft and damaging property for juveniles. Using a variety of fixed-effects models that exploit variations over time, the results show that gun availability at home increases the propensity to committing robbery, burglary and theft by about two percentage points for juveniles but has no impact on damaging property. It is unlikely that gun availability is merely a measure of the unobserved home environment because gun availability does not influence other risky or bad behaviors of juveniles. The results show that having access to guns increases the probability of being cut or stabbed by someone and of someone pulling a knife or gun on the juvenile. Estimates obtained from models that exploit variations over time and between siblings and twins indicate that the median impact of cocaine use on the propensity to commit various types of crimes is 23 percentage points. The impact of using inhalants or other drugs is an increase in the propensity to commit crime by 14 and 18 percentage points, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2003. "Guns, Drugs and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Panel of Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 9824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9824
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Erdal Tekin & Naci Mocan & Lan Liang, 2009. "Do Adolescents with Emotional or Behavioral Problems Respond to Cigarette Prices?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 67-85, July.
    2. Edward M. Shepard & Paul R. Blackely, 2010. "Economics of Crime and Drugs: Prohibition and Public Policies for Illicit Drug Control," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Erdal Tekin, 2014. "Fathers and youths’ delinquent behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 327-358, June.
    4. Arlen Guarin & Carlos Medina & Jorge Andres Tamayo, 2013. "The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation," Research Department Publications IDB-WP-420, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Timothy Brezina & Erdal Tekin & Volkan Topalli, 2008. ""Might Not Be a Tomorrow": A Multi-Methods Approach to Anticipated Early Death and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 14279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "Ugly Criminals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 15-30, February.
    7. Janet Currie & Erdal Tekin, 2006. "Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?," NBER Working Papers 12171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Waddell, Glen R., 2010. "Gender and the Influence of Peer Alcohol Consumption on Adolescent Sexual Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 4880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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