Professor Topher McDougal Presents Webinar for World Bank’s Small Arms Trade Week
Econometric Assessment of US-Mexico Arms Trafficking
Topic: Small Arms Trade Week, Session 4
Date: Friday, March 22, 2013
Time: 7 a.m., Pacific Standard Time
Meeting Number: 738 841 357
Meeting Password: SALW4
Mexico is experiencing a surge in gun-related violence since 2006. Yet Mexico does not manufacture small arms, light weapons or ammunition in sizeable quantity. Moreover, Mexico has some of the most restrictive gun legislation in the world. It is assumed that a considerable proportion of weapons in Mexico are illegal, most having been trafficked from the United States (U.S.). The volume of firearms sold in the United States and trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border, however, is notoriously difficult to record. Previous attempts have involved multiplicative approximations based upon the quantity of arms confiscated at the border.
We tackle the challenge of estimating arms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico differently. We apply a unique GIS-generated county-level panel dataset (1993-1999 and 2010-2012) of Federal Firearms Licenses to sell small arms (FFLs), we create a demand curve for firearms based on the distance by road from the nearest point on the U.S.-Mexico border and official border crossing. We use a time-series negative binomial model paired with a post-estimation population attributable fraction (PAF) estimator. We do so controlling for determinants of domestic demand (e.g., income, political leaning, population density, and spatial auto-correlation). We are able to estimate a total demand for trafficking, both in terms of firearms and dollar sales for the firearms industry.
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