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Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis

Posted: 24 Apr 2002  

Jeffrey A. Miron

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

Violence rates differ dramatically across countries. A widely held view is that these differences reflect differences in gun control and/or gun availability, and certain pieces of evidence appear consistent with this hypothesis. A more detailed examination of this evidence, however, suggests that the role of gun control/availability is not compelling. This more detailed examination, however, does not provide an alternative explanation for cross-country differences in violence.

This paper suggests that differences in the enforcement of drug prohibition are an important factor explaining differences in violence rates across countries. To determine the validity of this hypothesis, the paper examines data on homicide rates, drug prohibition enforcement, and gun control policy for a broad range of countries. The results suggest a role for drug prohibition enforcement in explaining cross-country differences in violence, and they provide an alternative explanation for some of the apparent effects of gun control/availability on violence rates.

Suggested Citation

Miron, Jeffrey A., Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis. Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 44, No. 2, Part 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=303478

Jeffrey A. Miron (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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