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An optimal anti-drug law enforcement policy

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  • Poret, Sylvaine

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Poret, Sylvaine, 2009. "An optimal anti-drug law enforcement policy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 221-228, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:3:p:221-228
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    12. Ziggy MacDonald, 2004. "What Price Drug Use? The Contribution of Economics to an Evidence-Based Drugs Policy," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 113-152, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prieger James E. & Kulick Jonathan, 2015. "Violence in Illicit Markets: Unintended Consequences and the Search for Paradoxical Effects of Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 1263-1295, July.
    2. Sylvaine Poret, 2005. "Structure verticale d'un réseau de distribution de drogues illicites et politique répressive optimale," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 71(4), pages 391-412.
    3. Adam Jacobsson & Alberto Naranjo, 2009. "Counter-intuitive effects of domestic law enforcement policies in the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 323-343, November.
    4. Naranjo, Alberto J., 2010. "Spillover effects of domestic law enforcement policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 265-275, September.
    5. Flores, Daniel, 2016. "Violence and law enforcement in markets for illegal goods," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 77-87.
    6. Yunker, James A., 2012. "Estimated optimal drug law enforcement expenditures based on U.S. annual data," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 356-371.

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