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Trafficking Networks and the Mexican Drug War

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  • Melissa Dell

Abstract

Drug trade-related violence has escalated dramatically in Mexico since 2007, and recent years have also witnessed large-scale efforts to combat trafficking, spearheaded by Mexico's conservative PAN party. This study examines the direct and spillover effects of Mexican policy toward the drug trade. Regression discontinuity estimates show that drug-related violence increases substantially after close elections of PAN mayors. Empirical evidence suggests that the violence reflects rival traffickers' attempts to usurp territories after crackdowns have weakened incumbent criminals. Moreover, the study uses a network model of trafficking routes to show that PAN victories divert drug traffic, increasing violence along alternative drug routes. (JEL D72, D85, K42, O17, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • Melissa Dell, 2015. "Trafficking Networks and the Mexican Drug War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1738-1779, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:6:p:1738-79
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20121637
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, October.
    2. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Software for Research
      by Anton Tarasenko in Economics and Development on 2016-01-15 01:06:24

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:253-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Paul Gertler & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Simeon Nichter, 2017. "Vulnerability and Clientelism," NBER Working Papers 23589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Enamorado, Ted & López-Calva, Luis F. & Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos & Winkler, Hernán, 2016. "Income inequality and violent crime: Evidence from Mexico's drug war," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 128-143.
    4. Galletta, Sergio, 2017. "Law enforcement, municipal budgets and spillover effects: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Italy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 90-105.
    5. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Roberto Castro & Juan S. Morales, 2015. "Conditional Cash Transfers for Women and Spousal Violence: Evidence of the Long-Term Relationship from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 91600, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Fetzer, Thiemo & Marden, Samuel, 2016. "Take what you can: property rights, contestability andconflict," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66534, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Maria Micaela Sviatschi, 2018. "Making a Narco: Childhood Exposure to Illegal Labor Markets and Criminal Life Paths," Working Papers 2018-03, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    8. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Aidt, T. S. & Leon, G. & Satchell, M., 2017. "The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Captain Swing Riots, 1830-31," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1751, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Giuseppe De Feo & Giacomo De Luca, 2017. "Weak States: Causes and Consequences of the Sicilian Mafia," NBER Working Papers 24115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mejia, Daniel & Restrepo, Pascual, 2016. "The economics of the war on illegal drug production and trafficking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 255-275.
    12. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    13. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0639-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Estache, Antonio & Garsous, Grégoire & Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo, 2016. "Shared Mandates, Moral Hazard, and Political (Mis)alignment in a Decentralized Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 98-110.
    15. Daniele, Gianmarco & Dipoppa, Gemma, 2017. "Mafia, elections and violence against politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 10-33.
    16. Germá-Bel & Maximilian Holst, 2016. "“A two-Sided coin: Disentangling the economic effects of the 'War on drugs' in Mexico”," IREA Working Papers 201611, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2016.
    17. Orraca Romano, Pedro Paulo, 2016. "Essays on development and labour economics for Mexico," Economics PhD Theses 0816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    18. repec:bpj:bejeap:v:17:y:2017:i:4:p:17:n:14 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Roberto Castro & Juan S. Morales, 2015. "Conditional Cash Transfers for Women and Spousal Violence: Evidence of the Long-Term Relationship from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7267, Inter-American Development Bank.
    20. Thiemo Fetzer & Samuel Marden, 2016. "Take what you can: property rights, contestability and conflict," Working Paper Series 9216, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    21. Oguzoglu Umut & Ranasinghe Ashantha, 2017. "Crime and Establishment Size: Evidence from South America," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(4), pages 1-17, October.
    22. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:5:p:928-941 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Martínez, Luis R., 2017. "Transnational insurgents: Evidence from Colombia's FARC at the border with Chávez's Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 138-153.
    24. Pietro A. Bianchi & Antonio Marra & Donato Masciandaro & Nicola Pecchiari, 2017. "Is It Worth Having the Sopranos on Board? Corporate Governance Pollution and Organized Crime: The Case of Italy," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1759, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    25. Durante, Ruben & Gutierrez, Emilio, 2015. "Fighting Crime with a Little Help from my Friends: Political Alignment, Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation and Crime in Mexico," CEPR Discussion Papers 10769, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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