Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Berkeley
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Control Analysis|
with John J. Donohue, Kyle D. Weber: w23510
This paper uses more complete state panel data (through 2014) and new statistical techniques to estimate the impact on violent crime when states adopt right-to-carry (RTC) concealed handgun laws. Our preferred panel data regression specification, unlike the statistical model of Lott and Mustard that had previously been offered as evidence of crime-reducing RTC laws, both satisfies the parallel trends assumption and generates statistically significant estimates showing RTC laws increase overall violent crime. Our synthetic control approach also strongly confirms that RTC laws are associated with 13-15 percent higher aggregate violent crime rates ten years after adoption. Using a consensus estimate of the elasticity of crime with respect to incarceration of 0.15, the average RTC state would ...
|May 2015||Political Bonds: Political Hazards and the Choice of Municipal Financial Instruments|
with Marian Moszoro, Pablo T. Spiller: w21188
We study the link between the choice of rule-based public contracts and political hazards using the municipal bond market. While general obligation bonds are serviced from all municipal revenue streams and offer elected officials financial flexibility, revenue bonds limit the discretion that political agents have in repaying debt as well as the use of revenues from the projects financed by the debt. We predict that public officials choose revenue bonds when elections are very contested to signal trustworthiness and transparency in contracting to the voter. We test this hypothesis on municipal finance data that includes 6,500 bond issuances nationwide as well as election data on over 400 cities over 20 years. We provide evidence that in politically contested cities, mayors are more likely t...
|August 2012||The Impact of Right to Carry Laws and the NRC Report: The Latest Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy|
with John J. Donohue III, Alexandria Zhang: w18294
For over a decade, there has been a spirited academic debate over the impact on crime of laws that grant citizens the presumptive right to carry concealed handguns in public – so-called right-to-carry (RTC) laws. In 2004, the National Research Council (NRC) offered a critical evaluation of the “More Guns, Less Crime” hypothesis using county-level crime data for the period 1977-2000. 15 of the 16 academic members of the NRC panel essentially concluded that the existing research was inadequate to conclude that RTC laws increased or decreased crime. One member of the panel thought the NRC's panel data regressions showed that RTC laws decreased murder, but the other 15 responded by saying that “the scientific evidence does not support” that position.
We evaluate the NRC evidence, and imp...
Published: A. Aneja & J. J. Donohue & A. Zhang, 2011. "The Impact of Right-to-Carry Laws and the NRC Report: Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy," American Law and Economics Review, vol 13(2), pages 565-631.