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Who crops coca and why? The case of Colombian farmers

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  • Marcela Ibáñez

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

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    Abstract

    Approximately 1.2% of Colombia’s GNP is spent every year on the war on drugs, but very little is known about coca farming decisions at the household level. In order to understand the decision to cultivate coca as well as that of the amount of land to use for its cultivation, we develop an extended version of the portfolio model of crime that considers the effects of behavioral norms and lack of options in the legal economy. The model is tested using data from an original survey with coca and non-coca farmers living in Putumayo, Colombia. We find that farmers react to economic incentives and hence eradication and substitution programs reduce coca cultivation. More interestingly, we find that coca cultivation decisions are explained by moral considerations as well as by the impossibility of making a living from legal forms of agriculture.

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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_40.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 40.

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    Date of creation: 13 Aug 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:040

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    Related research

    Keywords: Coca; Colombia; Portfolio Model of Crime; Norms of Behavior;

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    1. H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2005. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 655-681, November.
    2. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
    3. Chien-Chieh Huang & Derek Laing & Ping Wang, 2004. "Crime And Poverty: A Search-Theoretic Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 909-938, 08.
    4. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
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    6. Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "An Analysis of the Crime as Work Model: Evidence from the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 479-509.
    7. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    8. Nuno Garoupa, 1997. "The role of moral values in the economic analysis of crime: A general equilibrium approach," Economics Working Papers 245, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    9. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    10. Lars P. Feld & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Why People Obey the Law: Experimental Evidence from the Provision of Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 651, CESifo Group Munich.
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