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Shareholder response to mass shootings in the United States firearms industry

Geoffrey Steeves, Newton da Costa and Caroline Elliott

Cogent Economics & Finance, 2017, vol. 5, issue 1, 1345600

Abstract: Mass shootings are an all too common event in the United States. While these tragedies are universally condemned, the extent to which they affect markets is less understood. Using event study methodology, this study analyzes how three publicly traded small arms companies, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger, and the Brazilian manufacturer Taurus, react in the aftermath of six mass shootings from 2007 to 2013. Taurus is included in the sample given its heavy dependence on the US market, as well as to increase sample size given the dearth of publicly traded arms companies worldwide. The aggregate results suggest that these events do significantly disrupt returns in the arms industry, suggesting that shareholders are influenced by these events. The evidence for market disruptions is particularly strong when the sample is limited to the deadliest Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook shootings.

Date: 2017
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