The Economics of Firearm Markets, Crime, and Gun Violence
In 2020, there were more than 45,000 deaths from gun-related injuries in the United States, primarily from murders and suicides. Gun violence has increased recently; it has a substantial impact on US mortality rates, especially at younger ages and for several population sub-groups. To better understand the determinants of gun violence and gun-related crime, as well as the impact of a range of public policies on these outcomes, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will convene a research conference on Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The meeting will be organized by NBER affiliates Marcella Alsan (Harvard University), Philip Cook (Duke University), and Sara Heller (University of Michigan).
Research on a wide range of firearm-related issues drawing on various sub-fields of economics, including industrial organization, labor, law and economics, health, and public finance, is welcome. Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- The consequences and social costs of gun violence—violent crime, suicide, political violence, or mass shootings—for communities, children, policy preferences, residential and commercial location decisions, property values, health, and quality of life.
- The effects of regulations, taxes, and insurance rules on legal and secondary firearm markets, gun carrying, crime, suicide, and self-defense.
- The role of law enforcement in preventing gun crime and potentially misusing firearms.
- The effects of social programs on gun violence.
- The sources of firearms used in crime and suicide, including legal sale, illicit transactions, theft, and private manufacture.
The organizers welcome submissions of both empirical and theoretical research, including papers by scholars who are early in their careers, who are not NBER affiliates, and who are from groups that are under-represented in the economics profession. Completed papers, as well as work in progress that could be presented in a short paper session, may be submitted. Research presented at NBER conferences may not make policy recommendations.
To be considered for inclusion on the program, papers must be uploaded by midnight ET on Monday, October 2, 2023 via the following link:
Please do not submit papers that have been accepted for publication and that will be published by March 2024. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by early November.
The conference will be held in hybrid format, with most paper presentations in person. The NBER will cover the travel costs for two authors per paper to participate in the meeting, subject to NBER travel reimbursement regulations. All additional authors are welcome to attend at their own expense. Questions about this conference may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.