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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
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    2. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053, December.
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    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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