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Opium for the Masses? Conflict-Induced Narcotics Production in Afghanistan

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  • Jo Thori Lind
  • Karl Ove Moene
  • Fredrik Willumsen

Abstract

We show that the recent rise in Afghan opium production is caused by violent conflicts. Violence destroys roads and irrigation, crucial to alternative crops, and weakens local incentives to rebuild infrastructure and enforce law and order. Exploiting a unique data set, we show that Western hostile casualties, our proxy for conflict, have strong impact on subsequent local opium production. This proxy is shown to be exogenous to opium. We exploit the discontinuity at the end of the planting season: Conflicts have strong effects before and no effect after planting, assuring causality. Effects are strongest where government law enforcement is weak.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-03/cesifo1_wp2573.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2573.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2573

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Keywords: conflict; narcotics production; resource curse; Afghanistan;

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References

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  1. Massimo Guidolin & Eliana La Ferrara, 2007. "Diamonds Are Forever, Wars Are Not: Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1978-1993, December.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2008. "Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 191-215, May.
  4. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Institutions and the resource curse," GE, Growth, Math methods 0210004, EconWPA.
  5. Michael Greenstone, 2007. "Is the "Surge" Working? Some New Facts," NBER Working Papers 13458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Radha Iyengar & Jonathan Monten, 2008. "Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 13839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ana MaríaDíaz & FabioSánchez, 2004. "A Geography Of Illicit Crops (Coca Leaf) And Armed Conflict In Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 001918, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  8. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  9. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Bove, Vincenzo & Elia, Leandro, 2011. "Drugs and Violence in Afghanistan: A Panel VAR with Unobserved Common Factor Analysis," NEPS Working Papers 2/2011, Network of European Peace Scientists.
  2. Botero Degiovanni, Hernan, 2013. "The Effects of Drug Enforcement on Violence in Colombia 1999-2010: A Spatial Econometric Approach," MPRA Paper 49459, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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