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Is There a Relationship between Guns and Freedom? Comparative Results from 59 Nations

Texas Review of Law and Politics, Vol. 13

42 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008 Last revised: 24 Dec 2008

David B. Kopel

Independence Institute; Denver University - Sturm College of Law

Carlisle E. Moody

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Howard Ross Nemerov

Independent

Date Written: December 23, 2008

Abstract

There are 59 nations for which data about per capita gun ownership are available. This Article examines the relationship between gun density and several measures of freedom and prosperity: the Freedom House ratings of political rights and civil liberty, the Transparency International Perceived Corruption Index, the World Bank Purchasing Power Parity ratings, and the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The data suggest that the relationships between gun ownership rates and these other measures are complex. The data show that (although exceptions can be found) the nations with the highest rates of gun ownership tend to have greater political and civil freedom, greater economic freedom and prosperity, and much less corruption than other nations. The relationship only exists for high-ownership countries. Countries with medium rates of gun density generally scored no better or worse than countries with the lowest levels of per capita gun ownership.

Keywords: per capita gun ownership, political freedom, civil liberty, economic freedom, corruption, prosperity

JEL Classification: N40, O57, Z10, P50, A13

Suggested Citation

Kopel, David B. and Moody, Carlisle E. and Nemerov, Howard Ross, Is There a Relationship between Guns and Freedom? Comparative Results from 59 Nations (December 23, 2008). Texas Review of Law and Politics, Vol. 13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1090441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1090441

David B. Kopel (Contact Author)

Independence Institute ( email )

727 East 16th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
United States
303-279-6536 (Phone)
303-279-4176 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.davekopel.org

Denver University - Sturm College of Law

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.davekopel.org

Carlisle E. Moody

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
757-221-2373 (Phone)
757-221-1175 (Fax)

Howard Ross Nemerov

Independent ( email )

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