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Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

The Texas legislature seems likely to pass a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus. Having observed enough shootings of professors by students in the U.S. over the past 45 years, I think this is a dreadful idea. But it has interesting implications for wages. Some people who might be willing to take jobs at Texas campuses will be hesitant to do so. Unless there are enough others who welcome guns on campus, which I doubt, Texas universities will have to pay professors more — have to pay a compensating differential for the risk of being shot — or will be hiring lower-quality faculty members than before. Interestingly, although there are many more undergrad than grad students, it seems like the large majority of shootings of professors have been by grad students. Assuming that’s true, the new law will cause a change in wage differences between those who teach mostly undergrads and those who teach most grads, since teaching grads will become relatively riskier. I doubt that our legislators thought about the extra labor costs, or the diminution of quality, that their ideas are likely to create.