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Curbing coca cultivation in Colombia — A framed field experiment

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  • Ibanez, Marcela
  • Martinsson, Peter

Abstract

This paper investigates the efficiency of carrot and stick policies to reduce investment in coca cultivation in rural Colombia. To measure behavioral responses to anti-drug policies, we conducted a framed field experiment with farmers living in one of the most important coca growing areas. Our experimental design allows identifying heterogeneous producer types and measuring their behavioral response to carrots and sticks. We provide an example on how knowledge on distribution types can be used to design an optimal anti-drug policy. We find that about one third of the farmers have moral costs that are high enough to deter them from investing in coca and hence, would require no external incentives. Yet destroying coca completely is prohibitively costly for two fifths of the participants who would require an extremely high compensation or risk of eradication.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibanez, Marcela & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Curbing coca cultivation in Colombia — A framed field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:1-10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:5:p:741-761 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alejandra Vélez, María & Lobo, Iván, 2019. "Challenges of organised community resistance in the context of illicit economies and drug war policies: insights from Colombia," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 100325, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coca cultivation; Colombia; Experiment; Carrots and sticks; Anti-drug policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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