What Do Economists Know About Crime?
It is very difficult from the data available to make any sweeping generalizations about the relationship between any deterrent efforts and crime reduction, write the authors of this National Bureau of Economic Research study. Research after John Lott and David Mustard have challenged the latter’s conclusions, which Lott has defended. The authors of this study use a wider sample of data to test both the claims of pro-gun and anti-gun advocates, and find little conclusive evidence to bolster the claims of either. They do find evidence that the war on drugs has increased violence.