Economists' and Criminologists' Views on Guns: Crime, Suicides, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws
John R. Lott Jr.
Crime Prevention Research Center
Gary A. Mauser
Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business
February 22, 2016
Regulation, Summer 2016, Vol 39, no. 2
Economists and Criminologists have very different models of human behavior. A total of 74 out of all 130 academics who published peer-reviewed empirical research on gun issues in criminology and economics journals responded to our survey. That was a 57% response rate. Looking at their views on their views on deterrence and regulations generally, our survey finds that these two groups have very different views on gun regulations that vary in systematic, predictable ways. Our survey results are consistent with those predictions and statistically significant. While economists tend to view guns as making people safer, criminologists hold this position less strongly. Combining all the economists and criminologists together shows that researchers believe that guns are used more in self-defense than in crime; gun-free zones attract criminals; guns in the home do not increase the risk of suicide; concealed handgun permit holders are much more law-abiding than the typical American; and that permitted concealed handguns lower the murder rate. All those results are statistically significant. The survey of economists was conducted from August 25th to September 12th 2014. The survey of criminologists was conducted from May 29th to June 14th 2015.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: survey, gun control, economists, criminologists, crime
JEL Classification: K00, K42, K40
Date posted: February 5, 2016 ; Last revised: May 16, 2016