Guns and Homicides: A Multiscale Geographically Weighted Instrumental Variables Approach
Geographical Analysis, 2019, 1-29
33 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2020
Date Written: 2019
This paper assesses the locally varying effects of gun ownership levels on total and gun homicide rates in the contiguous United States using cross-sectional county data for the period 2009-2015. Employing a multiscale geographically weighted instrumental variables regression that takes into account spatial non-stationarity in the processes and the endogenous nature of gun ownership levels, estimates show that gun ownership exerts spatially monotonically negative effects on total and gun homicide rates, indicating that there are no counties supporting the \more guns, more crime" hypothesis for these two highly important crime categories. The number of counties in the contiguous US where the more guns, less crime hypothesis is confirmed is limited to at least 1258 counties (44.8 percent of the sample) with the strongest total homicide-decreasing effects concentrated in Southeastern Texas and the Deep South. On the other hand, stricter state gun control laws exert spatially monotonically negative effects on gun homicide rates with the strongest effects concentrated in the southern tip of Texas extending towards the Deep South.
Keywords: Gun Ownership; Spatial Heterogeneity; Monotonicity; Endogeneity; Homicide; Multiscale Geographically Weighted Regression
JEL Classification: C21; C26; K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation