EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Guns and Votes

Laurent Bouton (), Paola Conconi (), Francisco Pino and Maurizio Zanardi ()

No 20253, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Why are U.S. congressmen reluctant to support gun control regulations, despite the fact that most Americans are in favor of them? We argue that re-election motives can lead politicians to take a pro-gun stance against the interests of an apathetic majority of the electorate, but in line with the interests of an intense minority. We develop a model of gun control choices in which incumbent politicians are both office and policy motivated, and voters differ in the direction and intensity of their preferences. We derive conditions under which politicians support gun control early in their terms, but oppose them when they approach re-election. We test the predictions of the model by analyzing votes on gun-related legislation in the U.S. Senate, in which one third of the members are up for re-election every two years. We find that senators are more likely to vote pro gun when they are close to facing re-election, a result which holds comparing both across and within legislators. Only Democratic senators "flip flop'' on gun control, and only if the group of pro-gun voters in their constituency is of intermediate size.

JEL-codes: D72 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2014-06
Note: POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20253.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Guns and Votes (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns and Votes (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Guns and votes (2013) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20253

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20253

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-21
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20253