Inpatient Hospitalizations for Firearm Injury

Estimating State-Level Rates from 2000 to 2016

by Rosanna Smart, Samuel Peterson, Terry L. Schell, Rose Kerber, Andrew R. Morral

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One particular challenge for gun policy researchers is the lack of a single resource that provides reliable estimates of state-level firearm injuries over time. The data that do exist are sparse across state-years and cost-prohibitive to access. Deaths caused by firearms are tracked at the state level, but there are questions about whether nonfatal firearm injuries follow similar longitudinal trends as firearm deaths and whether policies affect deaths and injuries in the same manner. As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND researchers developed a publicly available longitudinal database of state-level estimates of inpatient hospitalizations that occur as a result of firearm injury. This document describes the methods that the researchers used to construct the estimates and provides technical documentation and other information that will facilitate use of the database.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Existing Data Sources and Limitations

  • Chapter Three

    Estimating State Firearm Hospitalizations over Time

  • Chapter Four

    Imputation Methods to Produce State Panel Estimates

  • Chapter Five

    Results

  • Chapter Six

    Discussion and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Posterior Distributions of Model Parameters

  • Appendix B

    Data Cleaning

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by Arnold Ventures and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

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