State and Local Prevalence of Firearms Ownership: Measurement, Structure, and Trends

28 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2001 Last revised: 1 Jan 2010

See all articles by Deborah Azrael

Deborah Azrael

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Philip J. Cook

Duke University - Sanford School of Public Policy; Duke University, Dept. of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew Miller

Northeastern University, Dept. of Health Sciences; Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

Of the readily computed proxies for the prevalence of gun ownership, one, the percentage of suicides committed with a gun, performs consistently better than the others in cross-section comparisons. It is readily computed for states and counties and has a high degree of validity when tested against survey-based estimates. It also appears valid as a proxy for changes over time in gun prevalence, at least at the regional level. Our analysis of this proxy measure for the period 1979-1997 demonstrates that the geographic structure of gun ownership has been highly stable. That structure is closely linked to rural tradition. There is, however, some tendency toward homogenization over this period, with high-prevalence states trending down and low-prevalence states trending up.

Suggested Citation

Azrael, Deborah and Cook, Philip J. and Miller, Matthew, State and Local Prevalence of Firearms Ownership: Measurement, Structure, and Trends (October 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8570. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288483

Deborah Azrael

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Philip J. Cook (Contact Author)

Duke University - Sanford School of Public Policy ( email )

201 Science Drive
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708-0239
United States
919-613-7360 (Phone)
919-681-8288 (Fax)

Duke University, Dept. of Economics

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Matthew Miller

Northeastern University, Dept. of Health Sciences ( email )

360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617.373.2087 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/directory/matthew-miller/

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

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