Homicides in Mexico and the Expiration of the U.S. Federal Assault Weapons Ban: A Difference-in-Discontinuities Approach
Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2017
58 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2016 Last revised: 18 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 17, 2016
The year following the expiration of the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), the homicide rate in Mexico increased for the first time in a decade. A difference-in-discontinuities model and a unique dataset are used to compare discontinuities generated by close mayoral elections on either side of the AWB expiration. The model finds a statistically significant increase in the firearm homicide rate following the expiration. The effect is larger closer to the U.S.-Mexico border, and is isolated to the timing of the AWB expiration. Furthermore, there is no evidence of a concurrent increase in non-firearm homicides or other violent crimes.
Keywords: Mexico; gun violence; homicides; assault weapons ban
JEL Classification: F52, I18, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation