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The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data

Jens Ludwig, Philip J. Cook

NBER Working Paper No. 7166
Issued in June 1999
NBER Program(s):Health Care Program

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7166

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. citation courtesy of

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