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Do Gun Buybacks Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data
by Andrew Leigh, Christine Neill
(June 2010)
published in: American Law and Economics Review, 2010, 12(2), 462-508

Abstract:
In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth. Using differences across states in the number of firearms withdrawn, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected firearm homicide and suicide rates. We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 per cent, with no statistically significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The estimated effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude, but is less precise. The results are robust to a variety of specification checks, and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate.
Text: See Discussion Paper No. 4995  




 

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