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Opium in Afghanistan: Prospects for the Success of Source Country Drug Control Policies

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  • Jeffrey Clemens

Abstract

Recent estimates suggest that in 2007, Afghan opiate production accounted for about 93 percent of the world's total. This article presents a framework for estimating the potential for source country drug control policies to reduce this production. It contains a first pass at estimating the potential for policy to shift the supply of opium upward, as well as a range of supply and demand elasticities. The estimates suggest that meager reductions in production can be expected through alternative development programs alone (reductions are less than 6.5 percent in all but one of the specifications presented). They also suggest that substantial increases in crop eradication would be needed to achieve even moderate reductions in production (reductions range from 3.0 percent to 19.4 percent for various specifications). The results also imply that, all else being equal, the cessation of crop eradication would result in only modest increases in opiate production (with estimates ranging from 1.6 percent to 9.6 percent). (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Clemens, 2008. "Opium in Afghanistan: Prospects for the Success of Source Country Drug Control Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 407-432, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:3:p:407-432
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anne Line Bretteville-Jensen & Erik Bi¯rn, 2003. "Heroin Consumption, Prices and Addiction: Evidence from Self-reported Panel Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 661-679, December.
    2. Arno Maatman & Caspar Schweigman & Arjan Ruijs & Maarten H. van Der Vlerk, 2002. "Modeling Farmers' Response to Uncertain Rainfall in Burkina Faso: A Stochastic Programming Approach," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 399-414, June.
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    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:253-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Reyes, Luis Carlos, 2014. "Estimating the Causal Effect of Forced Eradication on Coca Cultivation in Colombian Municipalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 70-84.
    3. Bove, Vincenzo & Gavrilova, Evelina, 2014. "Income and Livelihoods in the War in Afghanistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 113-131.
    4. Vasquez Escallon, Juanita, 2015. "When too much punishment decreases legality. The case of coca-reducing policies in Colombia," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113156, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:5:p:741-761 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andersson, Camilla I.M., 2011. "Counterproductive Counternarcotic Strategies?," Discussion Papers 118959, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    7. Reza Oladi & John Gilbert, 2015. "International Narcotics Trade, Foreign Aid, And Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1630-1646, July.
    8. Clemens, Jeffrey, 2013. "Evaluating Economic Warfare: Lessons from Efforts to Suppress the Afghan Opium Trade," MPRA Paper 57890, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Jeffrey Clemens, 2013. "An Analysis of Economic Warfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 523-527, May.

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