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Review of Drug War Heresies by MacCoun and Reuter


  • Steven D. Levitt


MacCoun and Reuter's primary goal is to understand how current U.S. drug policies can be improved. They carefully describe the facts and trends regarding drug usage, criminal justice enforcement, and the harms associated with drug use, then discuss the public debate surrounding drug prohibition and give an informal treatment of the theory underlying the competing positions. The authors study policies towards other vices like gambling, cigarettes, alcohol, and prostitution, as well as drug policies in other times and places. The broader implication that emerges is that there is a desperate need for better data and increased research if there is any hope for making truly informed policy on illicit drugs.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Review of Drug War Heresies by MacCoun and Reuter," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 540-544, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:2:p:540-544 Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205103765762752

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Bera, Anil K & Higgins, Matthew L, 1997. "ARCH and Bilinearity as Competing Models for Nonlinear Dependence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 43-50, January.
    9. Blair, Bevan J. & Poon, Ser-Huang & Taylor, Stephen J., 2001. "Forecasting S&P 100 volatility: the incremental information content of implied volatilities and high-frequency index returns," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 5-26, November.
    10. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 2002. "The Message in Daily Exchange Rates: A Conditional-Variance Tale," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 60-68, January.
    11. Akgiray, Vedat, 1989. "Conditional Heteroscedasticity in Time Series of Stock Returns: Evidence and Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(1), pages 55-80, January.
    12. Andersen, Torben G & Bollerslev, Tim, 1998. "Answering the Skeptics: Yes, Standard Volatility Models Do Provide Accurate Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 885-905, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carlos Echeverry, 2004. "Colombia And The War On Drugs, How Short Is The Short Run?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002133, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. Edward M. Shepard & Paul R. Blackely, 2010. "Economics of Crime and Drugs: Prohibition and Public Policies for Illicit Drug Control," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Philip Curry & Steeve Mongrain, "undated". "What You Don't See Can't Hurt You: An Economic Analysis of," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1062, American Law & Economics Association.

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