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A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs

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  • Manolis Galenianos
  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
  • Nicola Persico

Abstract

A search-theoretic model of the retail market for illegal drugs is developed. Trade occurs in bilateral, potentially long-lived matches between sellers and buyers. Buyers incur search costs when experimenting with a new seller. Moral hazard is present because buyers learn purity only after a trade is made. The model produces testable implications regarding the distribution of purity offered in equilibrium, and the duration of the relationships between buyers and sellers. These predictions are consistent with available data. The effectiveness of different enforcement strategies is evaluated, including some novel ones which leverage the moral hazard present in the market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14980.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Publication status: published as Manolis Galenianos & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Nicola Persico, 2012. "A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1239-1269.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14980

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  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Ben Lakhdar & Hervé Leleu & Nicolas Gérard Vaillant & François-Charles Wolff, 2011. "Efficiency of purchasing and selling agents in markets with quality uncertainty: The case of illicit drug transactions," Working Papers 2011-ECO-02, IESEG School of Management.
  2. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2010. "The racial geography of street vice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 270-286, May.
  3. Adda, Jérôme & McConnell, Brendon & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Crime and the Depenalization of Cannabis Possession: Evidence from a Policing Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2014. "The Morphology of Price Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 19877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carlos Casacuberta & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "Aportes del análisis económico al estudio de las drogas," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0112, Department of Economics - dECON.
  6. Liana Jacobi & Michelle Sovinsky, 2012. "Marijuana on main street: What if?," ECON - Working Papers, Department of Economics - University of Zurich 087, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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