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An optimal anti-drug law enforcement policy

  • Poret, Sylvaine

This article presents a model for a drug law enforcement policy whose objective is harm reduction, including the net cost of law enforcement, social harm and surplus of agents. We consider a vertically organized distribution system with two levels, traffickers and retailers. The two questions concern which type of sellers have to be prosecuted and which law enforcement policy should be implemented that is, the probability of being caught and the severity of the punishment. We show that a trafficker-oriented law enforcement regime can avoid counter-productive policies. Moreover, decriminalization or depenalization is optimal under some conditions depending on the relationship between social harm and consumption.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 221-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:3:p:221-228
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  17. Chiu, Stephen & Mansley, Edward C. & Morgan, John, 1998. "Choosing the right battlefield for the war on drugs: an irrelevance result," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 107-111, April.
  18. Poret, Sylvaine, 2002. "Paradoxical effects of law enforcement policies: the case of the illicit drug market," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 465-493, December.
  19. Abdala Mansour & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2006. "Gangs and Crime Deterrence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 315-339, October.
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  21. Sylvaine Poret, 2006. "L'impact des politiques répressives sur l'offre de drogues illicites. Une revue de la littérature théorique," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(5), pages 1065-1091.
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