Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock

Christoph Koenig, David Schindler

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Abstract

Do firearm purchase delay laws reduce aggregate homicide levels? Using quasi-experimental evidence from a 6-month countrywide gun demand shock starting in late 2012, we show that U.S. states with legislation preventing immediate handgun purchases experienced smaller increases in handgun sales. Our findings are hard to reconcile with entirely rational consumers, but suggest that gun buyers behave time-inconsistently. In a second step, we demonstrate that states with purchase delays also witnessed 3% lower homicide rates during the same period compared to states allowing instant handgun access. We report suggestive evidence that lower handgun sales primarily reduced impulsive assaults and domestic violence.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages89
Volume2018-043
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2018-043

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Keywords

  • guns
  • murder
  • Sandy Hook
  • gun control
  • impulsiveness

Cite this

Koenig, C., & Schindler, D. (2018). Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2018-043). Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research.