Model Uncertainty and the Effect of Shall-Issue Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime

77 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2015

See all articles by Steven N. Durlauf

Steven N. Durlauf

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Salvador Navarro

University of Western Ontario - Department of Economics

David Rivers

University of Western Ontario

Date Written: September 2015

Abstract

This paper explores the role of model uncertainty in explaining the different findings in the literature regarding the effect of shall-issue right-to-carry concealed weapons laws on crime. In particular, we systematically examine how different modeling assumptions affect the results. We find little support for some widely used assumptions in the literature (e.g., population weights), but find that allowing for the effect of the law to be heterogeneous across both counties and over time is important for explaining the observed patterns of crime. In terms of model uncertainty, we find that there is substantial variation in the estimated effects for each model across all dimensions of the model space. This suggests that one should be cautious in using the results from any particular model to inform policy decisions.

Suggested Citation

Durlauf, Steven N. and Navarro, Salvador and Rivers, David, Model Uncertainty and the Effect of Shall-Issue Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime (September 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21566. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2663204

Steven N. Durlauf (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Salvador Navarro

University of Western Ontario - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Social Science Centre
London, Ontario N6A 5B8
Canada
519-661-2111 ext 81586 (Phone)
519-661-3666 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/econsalvador

David Rivers

University of Western Ontario

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