The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data
NBER Working Paper No. 7166
This paper presents the first attempt to estimate the benefits of reducing crime using the contingent-valuation (CV) method. We focus on gun violence, a crime of growing policy concern in America. Our data come from a national survey in which we ask respondents referendum-type questions that elicit their willingness-to-pay (WTP) to reduce gun violence by 30 percent. We estimate that the public's WTP to reduce gun violence by 30 percent equals $23.8 billion, or $750,000 per injury. Our estimate implies a statistical value of life ($4.05 to $6.25 million) that is quite consistent with those derived from other methods.
Published: Ludwig, Jens and Philip J. Cook. "The Benefits Of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence From Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2001, v22(3,May), 207-226.