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Is the war on drugs working? Examining the Colombian case using micro data

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  • Marcela Ibanez

    (Georg-August University Göttingen)

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    Abstract

    The intense debate on the effectiveness of the war on drugs contrasts with the lack of empirical evidence on its impacts. To evaluate the effectiveness of control-supply policies, we use micro data from an original survey with farmers living in a coca growing area in Colombia. We find that while eradication and alternative development decrease coca supply, the elasticity of supply of these policies is rather low. The efficiency of anti-drug policies could be increased by investing more in alternative development and less in eradication. Our analysis suggests that changing people's attitudes toward coca can be a promising alternative in the fight against drugs.

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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_148.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 148.

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    Date of creation: 16 Sep 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:148

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    Keywords: Coca; Colombia; War on Drugs; Morality;

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    1. Reyes, Luis Carlos, 2011. "Estimating the causal effect of forced eradication on coca cultivation in Colombian municipalities," MPRA Paper 33478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Moreno-Sanchez, Rocio & Kraybill, David S. & Thompson, Stanley R., 2003. "An Econometric Analysis of Coca Eradication Policy in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 375-383, February.
    3. Herschel I. Grossman & Daniel Mejia, 2005. "The War Against Drug Producers," NBER Working Papers 11141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
    5. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Social Networks and Crime Decisions: The Role of Social Structure in Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," Working Paper Series 601, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Garcίa-Yi, Jaqueline, 2010. "Heterogeneous Motivations of Household - Level Coca Growing Areas: The Case of an Indigenous Community in Peru," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 23, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    7. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Michael Grossman, 2006. "The Market for Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 38-60, February.
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