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Rule of Law and Gun Ownership: A Cross-Country Study

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The paper studies the effects of the rule of law on gun ownership. Stronger rule of law encourages productive efforts and increases the incomes of citizens through better-enforced property rights, increasing the incentives to protect their incomes and to own guns. Stronger rule of law also provides better government protection for citizens' incomes and properties through stronger law enforcement and criminal justice systems, reducing their incentives to own guns. Empirical evidence based on cross-country data shows that stronger rule of law increases gun ownership through the income effect but decreases it through the protection effect. (JEL: H1, K4, O5, R1)
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Keywords: gun ownership; income effect; institutions; protection effect; rule of law

Appeared or available online: Tue Dec 13 17:00:00 UTC 2016

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