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A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs

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  • Manolis Galenianos
  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
  • Nicola Persico

Abstract

A search-theoretic model of the retail market for illegal drugs is developed. Trade occurs in bilateral, potentially long-lived matches between sellers and buyers. Buyers incur search costs when experimenting with a new seller. Moral hazard is present because buyers learn purity only after a trade is made. This model is consistent with some new stylized facts about the drugs market, and it is informative for policy design. The effectiveness of different enforcement strategies is evaluated, including some novel ones that leverage the moral hazard present in the market. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Manolis Galenianos & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Nicola Persico, 2012. "A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1239-1269.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:3:p:1239-1269
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rds007
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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