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An optimal anti-drug law enforcement policy

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  • Poret, Sylvaine

Abstract

This article presents a model for a drug law enforcement policy whose objective is harm reduction, including the net cost of law enforcement, social harm and surplus of agents. We consider a vertically organized distribution system with two levels, traffickers and retailers. The two questions concern which type of sellers have to be prosecuted and which law enforcement policy should be implemented that is, the probability of being caught and the severity of the punishment. We show that a trafficker-oriented law enforcement regime can avoid counter-productive policies. Moreover, decriminalization or depenalization is optimal under some conditions depending on the relationship between social harm and consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 221-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:3:p:221-228

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

Related research

Keywords: Illicit drug policy Harm reduction Law enforcement Vertical market structure;

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References

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  1. Ziggy MacDonald, . "What Price Drug Use? The Contribution of Economics to an Evidence-Based Drugs Policy," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 01/6, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Aloys Prinz, 1997. "Drugs: Do European drugs policies matter?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 371-385, October.
  9. Sylvaine Poret, 2005. "Structure verticale d'un réseau de distribution de drogues illicites et politique répressive optimale," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 71(4), pages 391-412.
  10. Skott, Peter & Thorlund Jepsen, Gunnar, 2002. "Paradoxical effects of drug policy in a model with imperfect competition and switching costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 335-354, August.
  11. Jonathan P. Caulkins, 1993. "Zero-Tolerance Policies: Do They Inhibit or Stimulate Illicit Drug Consumption?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(4), pages 458-476, April.
  12. Marceau, Nicolas & Mongrain, Steeve, 1999. "Dissuader le crime : un survol," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 75(1), pages 123-147, mars-juin.
  13. Andrew Resignato, 2000. "Violent crime: a function of drug use or drug enforcement?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 681-688.
  14. Gary S.Grossman Becker & Michael Murphy & Kevin M., 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 68, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  15. Poret, Sylvaine & Tejedo, Cyril, 2006. "Law enforcement and concentration in illicit drug markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 99-114, March.
  16. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  17. Chiu, Stephen & Mansley, Edward C. & Morgan, John, 1998. "Choosing the right battlefield for the war on drugs: an irrelevance result," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 107-111, April.
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  19. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  20. Poret, Sylvaine, 2002. "Paradoxical effects of law enforcement policies: the case of the illicit drug market," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 465-493, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Yunker, James A., 2012. "Estimated optimal drug law enforcement expenditures based on U.S. annual data," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 356-371.
  2. Naranjo, Alberto J., 2010. "Spillover effects of domestic law enforcement policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 265-275, September.
  3. Adam Jacobsson & Alberto Naranjo, 2009. "Counter-intuitive effects of domestic law enforcement policies in the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 323-343, November.
  4. Sylvaine PORET, 2005. "Structure verticale d’un réseau de distribution de drogues illicites et politique répressive optimale," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2005043, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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