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04/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/20/2021 22:07

Do School Shootings Have a Copycat Effect?

Following a school shooting, the risk for additional school shootings in the same and neighboring states increases in the next year, according to an analysis published in Contemporary Economic Policy.

The analysis included information on U.S. school shootings between 1990 and 2017. The copycat effect revealed by the analysis indicates that the media should find a way to cover these events while minimizing the risk of provoking additional shootings.

'Studying copycat effects in state-level school shootings data helps us to better understand to what extent school shooters are influenced by prior shootings,' said corresponding author Karsten Schweikert, PhD, of the University of Hohenheim, in Germany. 'Our results can help to guide the response of authorities to school shooting incidents.'

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First published in 1982 as Contemporary Policy Issues, Contemporary Economic Policy publishes scholarly economic research and analysis on issues of vital concern to economists, government, business, and other decision makers. Leading western scholars, including three Nobel laureates, are among CEP's authors. The objectives are to communicate results of high quality economic analysis to policymakers, focus high quality research and analysis on current policy issues of widespread concern, increase knowledge among economists of features of the economy key to understanding the impact of policy, and to advance methods of policy analysis.

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