Costs and Far-Reaching Impacts of Gun Violence
Looking beyond hospital costs of gun violence, another research team examined the local costs of gun violence to businesses, housing values, and neighborhood economies. Using business establishment and credit score data, along with gunshot detection and sociodemographic data, we documented that gun violence is detrimental to neighborhood economic well-being.
Across five cities, gun violence surges slowed neighborhood home value appreciation by 4 percent. The same neighborhoods saw decreases in average credit score and homeownership rates. And in cities experiencing a decrease in gun violence, neighborhoods had more new business openings, more jobs created, and fewer business closings.
Beyond the physical and emotional trauma associated with gun violence, what are its costs? Our research looks at hospital costs of gun violence through a state-based analysis of the cost of gunshot wounds for hospitals (more than $600 million in 2010) and how much certain states or regions bear a disproportionate amount of that cost.
Our research found that in 2010, 36,000 victims of firearm assaults went to emergency rooms, and of those, 25,000 were admitted to the hospital. The majority of the costs are for people with publicly funded health insurance like Medicaid, so hospital costs of gun violence are, in most cases, borne by taxpayers. Additional research in 2014 revealed that Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act shifted even more of the burden of gun violence–related health care costs from uninsured patients to public coverage.