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Self-defense Policy, Justified Homicides, and Race

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Spanbauer

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

The self-defense policies known as Stand Your Ground reduce the expected cost of using lethal force. I use detailed police records to examine whether these policies had differential effects on the reportedly-justified homicide rates of people across races. I find that the implementation of Stand Your Ground policies lead to an average of 2.75 additional black Alleged Perpetrators of Crimes being killed each month, 2.39 of whom are killed by black citizens. Additionally, I find 0.5 additional white Alleged Perpetrators are killed each month, 0.49 of whom are killed by white citizens. I test the differences between race groups and find that they are strongly significant in all cases. I then use event studies to confirm that my results are not caused by pre-existing trends. My results provide strong evidence that Stand Your Ground policies cause unequal outcomes across racial groups, and I postulate several mechanisms that may be the cause of these racially disparate effects.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1708.pdf
File Function: First Version, Jul 2017
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Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1708.

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Date of creation: Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1708
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  1. MacKinnon, James G & Magee, Lonnie, 1990. "Transforming the Dependent Variable in Regression Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 315-339, May.
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  4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the state does not," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 173-202, November.
  9. Gary Solon & Steven J. Haider & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "What Are We Weighting For?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 301-316.
  10. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2013. "Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-161, March.
  12. Cheng Cheng & Mark Hoekstra, 2013. "Does Strengthening Self-Defense Law Deter Crime or Escalate Violence?:Evidence from Expansions to Castle Doctrine," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 821-854.
  13. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:621-653 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Chandler McClellan & Erdal Tekin, 2017. "Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides, and Injuries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 621-653.
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