The Intergenerational Effects of Mass Shootings

55 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2019

Date Written: October 13, 2019


This paper investigates in utero exposure to mass shootings’ effects on infant health outcomes in the United States by exploiting the differential timing of these events across counties. My results indicate that in utero exposure to mass shootings in the second trimester of pregnancy increases the incidence of Very Low Birth Weight (Birth Weight<1,500 grams) and Very Premature births (Gestational Length<34 weeks) by 7.7 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. Several robustness exercises and employing alternative control groups support these findings. Based on these impacts, I calculate a large, previously unaccounted, inter-generational social cost of mass shootings induced by adverse infant health outcomes.

Keywords: mass shootings, infant health, very low birth weight, prematurity

JEL Classification: I10, I18, J13

Suggested Citation

Dursun, Bahadir, The Intergenerational Effects of Mass Shootings (October 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Bahadir Dursun (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

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