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John R. Lott

Bio: John R. Lott is an academic researcher from American Enterprise Institute. The author has contributed to research in topics: Abortion & Poison control. The author has an hindex of 7, co-authored 8 publications receiving 226 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Maltz and Targonski as discussed by the authors provided an important service by disaggregating the county-level data to help researchers examine measurement errors in the county level data, but their conclusion that county level crime data, as they are currently constituted, should not be used, especially in policy studies is not justified.
Abstract: Maltz and Targonski (2002) have provided an important service by disaggregating the county level data to help researchers examine measurement errors in the county level data, but their conclusion that county-level crime data, as they are currently constituted, should not be used, especially in policy studies is not justified. All data has measurement error, presumably even their measures of this error. Unfortunately, however, Maltz and Targonski provide no systematic test for how bad the data are. Their graphs obscure both the small number of counties affected, that these are rural counties, and that just because some of the population in a county is not represented in calculating the crime rate, that is not the same thing as showing that the reported number is in error. Nor do they provide evidence for the more important issue of whether there is a systematic bias in the data. The evidence provided here indicates right-to-carry laws continue to produce substantial reductions in violent crime rates when states with the greatest measurement error are excluded. In fact, restricting the sample results in somewhat larger reductions in murders and robberies, but smaller reductions in aggravated assaults.

61 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors find no support that safe-storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides, and instead, these storage requirements appear to impair people's ability to use guns defensively.
Abstract: It is frequently assumed that safe‐storage gun laws reduce accidental gun deaths and total suicides, while the possible impact on crime rates is ignored. We find no support that safe‐storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides. Instead, these storage requirements appear to impair people’s ability to use guns defensively. Because accidental shooters also tend to be the ones most likely to violate the new law, safe‐storage laws increase violent and property crimes against law‐abiding citizens with no observable offsetting benefit in terms of reduced accidents or suicides.

48 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors find evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by around about 5 to 7 percent and that the cohorts who are committing crime had been born before or after abortion was legal.
Abstract: Abortion may prevent the birth of "unwanted" children, who would have relatively small investments in human capital and a higher probability of crime On the other hand, some research suggests that legalizing abortion increases out-of-wedlock births and single parent families, which implies the opposite impact on investments in human capital and thus crime The question is: what is the net impact? We find evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by around about 05 to 7 percent Previous estimates are shown to suffer from not directly linking the cohorts who are committing crime with whether they had been born before or after abortion was legal

39 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Lott et al. as mentioned in this paper found evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by around about 0.5 to 7 percent, which implies the opposite impact on investments in human capital and thus crime.
Abstract: Abortion may prevent the birth of "unwanted" children, who would have relatively small investments in human capital and a higher probability of crime. On the other hand, some research suggests that legalizing abortion increases out-of-wedlock births and single parent families, which implies the opposite impact on investments in human capital and thus crime. The question is: what is the net impact? We find evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by around about 0.5 to 7 percent. Previous estimates are shown to suffer from not directly linking the cohorts who are committing crime with whether they had been born before or after abortion was legal. Lott, John R. and Whitley, John E., Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births (April 30, 2001). Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 254. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=270126 or doi:10.2139/ssrn.270126

35 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Using state senate data from 1984 through the beginning of 2002, the authors found that campaign donation regulations clearly reduce the competitiveness in political races and that different donation limits are associated with anywhere from a 4 to over a 23 percentage point increase in win margins.
Abstract: Using state senate data from 1984 through the beginning of 2002, this paper finds that campaign donation regulations clearly reduce the competitiveness in political races. This is reflected in several dimensions. Conservative estimates indicate that different donation limits are associated with anywhere from a 4 to over a 23 percentage point increase in win margins. The regulations increase the probability that only one candidate will run for office. And they increase the probability that incumbents win re-election. Campaign finance regulations also tend to reduce the number of candidates who run for office by an average of about 20 percent.

31 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, this paper reviewed a wide variety of possible explanations for these changes: demography, fertility and abortion legalization, economic prosperity, increased incarceration of offenders, increased agents of social intervention, changing social norms and practices, the dissipation of the social changes from the 1960s, and psychiatric pharmacology.
Abstract: Various forms of child maltreatment and child victimization declined as much as 40‐70% from 1993 until 2004, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, and larceny. Other child welfare indicators also improved during the same period, including teen pregnancy, teen suicide, and children living in poverty. This article reviews a wide variety of possible explanations for these changes: demography, fertility and abortion legalization, economic prosperity, increased incarceration of offenders, increased agents of social intervention, changing social norms and practices, the dissipation of the social changes from the 1960s, and psychiatric pharmacology. Multiple factors probably contributed. In particular, economic prosperity, increasing agents of social intervention, and psychiatric pharmacology have advantages over some of the other explanations in accounting for the breadth and timing of the improvements. The worrisome stories about crimes against children that regularly fill the media have unfortunately obscured some more positive news from the statistical reports on these same offenses. Child victimization of various types has been declining since the early 1990s, in some cases declining dramatically. Facts about the Decline

388 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
04 Aug 2004-JAMA
TL;DR: There is evidence that CAP laws are associated with a modest reduction in suicide rates among youth aged 14 to 17 years, and minimum age restrictions for the purchase and possession of firearms do not appear to reduce overall rates of suicide among youth.
Abstract: CONTEXT: Firearms are used in approximately half of all youth suicides. Many state and federal laws include age-specific restrictions on the purchase, possession, or storage of firearms; however, the association between these laws and suicides among youth has not been carefully examined. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between youth-focused firearm laws and suicides among youth. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Quasi-experimental design with annual state-level data on suicide rates among US youth aged 14 through 20 years, for the period 1976-2001. Negative binomial regression models were used to estimate the association between state and federal youth-focused firearm laws mandating a minimum age for the purchase or possession of handguns and state child access prevention (CAP) laws requiring safe storage of firearms on suicide rates among youth. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Association between youth-focused state and federal firearm laws and rates of firearm, nonfirearm, and total suicides among US youth aged 14 to 17 and 18 through 20 years. RESULTS: There were 63 954 suicides among youth aged 14 through 20 years during the 1976-2001 study period, 39 655 (62%) of which were committed with firearms. Minimum purchase-age and possession-age laws were not associated with statistically significant reductions in suicide rates among youth aged 14 through 20 years. State CAP laws were associated with an 8.3% decrease (rate ratio [RR], 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86-0.98) in suicide rates among 14- to 17-year-olds. The annual rate of suicide in this age group in states with CAP laws was 5.97 per 100,000 population rather than the projected 6.51. This association was also statistically significant for firearm suicides (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.96) but not for nonfirearm suicides (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.91-1.10). CAP laws were also associated with a significant reduction in suicides among youth aged 18 through 20 years (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.85-0.93); however, the association was similar for firearm suicides (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82-0.92) and nonfirearm suicides (RR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85-0.98). CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that CAP laws are associated with a modest reduction in suicide rates among youth aged 14 to 17 years. As currently implemented, minimum age restrictions for the purchase and possession of firearms do not appear to reduce overall rates of suicide among youth. VioLit keywords: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Firearms Legislation Firearms Suicide Juvenile Suicide Juvenile Firearms Use Early Adolescence Late Adolescence Firearms Control Legislation Effectiveness

180 citations

ReportDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors compare changes in homicide and arrest rates among cohorts born before and after the legalization of abortion to changes in crime in the same years among similar cohorts who were unexposed to legalized abortion.
Abstract: In this paper I compare changes in homicide and arrest rates among cohorts born before and after the legalization of abortion to changes in crime in the same years among similar cohorts who were unexposed to legalized abortion. I find little consistent evidence that the legalization of abortion in selected states around 1970 and then in the remaining states following Roe v. Wade had an effect on recent crime rates. I conclude that the dramatic association as reported in a recent study is most likely the result of unmeasured period effects such as changes in crack cocaine use. (authors)

162 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: High quality research on the association between the implementation or repeal of firearm legislation (rather than the evaluation of existing laws) and firearm injuries would lead to a better understanding of what interventions are likely to work given local contexts.
Abstract: Firearms account for a substantial proportion of external causes of death, injury, and disability across the world. Legislation to regulate firearms has often been passed with the intent of reducing problems related to their use. However, lack of clarity around which interventions are effective remains a major challenge for policy development. Aiming to meet this challenge, we systematically reviewed studies exploring the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries/deaths. We restricted our search to studies published from 1950 to 2014. Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively. Limitations of studies include challenges inherent to their ecological design, their execution, and the lack of robustness of findings to model specifications. High quality research on the association between the implementation or repeal of firearm legislation (rather than the evaluation of existing laws) and firearm injuries would lead to a better understanding of what interventions are likely to work given local contexts. This information is key to move this field forward and for the development of effective policies that may counteract the burden that firearm injuries pose on populations.

153 citations