Degree Year

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Advisor(s)

Evan Kresch
Martin Saavedra
Barbara J. Craig
Christopher Andrew James Cotter

Keywords

K-12 school shootings, Gun acquisition rates, Google Trends data

Abstract

In this paper, I seek to understand how communities respond to tragic events involving violence, exploring the relationship between school shootings and gun acquisition rates. Using National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as a proxy for firearm acquisition rates, I estimate an event study framework, finding that gun acquisition rates increase by up to 32% one month after a school shooting compared to firearm acquisition rates one month before a school shooting. Furthermore, I supplement my analysis by using Google Search data on firearms. Additionally, I stratify my analysis by the four census regions and whether a school shooting occurred in a majority-minority county. My results contribute to existing literature, investigating the linkages between Google search data and social phenomena and the impact of mass shootings on the social sphere.

Included in

Economics Commons

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