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Diffusion of crime control benefits: forced eradication and coca crops in Colombia


  • Eleonora Dávalos
  • Leonardo Fabio Morales


One explanation for the increasing number of hectares of coca is that eradication strategies displace coca crops but fail to completely clear affected areas. In the drug policy literature, that dynamic shifting is commonly known as the balloon effect. This study integrates georeferenced agricultural data through spatially explicit econometric models to test the hypothesis that forced eradication displaces coca crops. Using annual data for 1116 contiguous municipalities in Colombia, we estimate a spatial Durbin error model. Our results suggest that, on average, aerial fumigation in a municipality diffuses the benefits of this crime control strategy to neighbouring municipalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleonora Dávalos & Leonardo Fabio Morales, 2023. "Diffusion of crime control benefits: forced eradication and coca crops in Colombia," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 292-317, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:18:y:2023:i:3:p:292-317
    DOI: 10.1080/17421772.2022.2151642

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns


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