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Prohibition and the Market for Illegal Drugs

Author

Listed:
  • Suren Basov
  • Mireille Jacobson
  • Jeffrey A. Miron

Abstract

Over the past 25 years in the United States, enforcement of drug prohibition has expanded dramatically. Over the same period, however, the trends in drug production and consumption have been essentially flat, and the real, purityadjusted prices of both cocaine and heroin have more than halved. This combination of facts raises questions about the effectiveness of prohibition enforcement, and it constitutes a puzzle that is interesting to explain. In this paper the authors document these facts and explore possible explanations. They do not claim to provide a complete answer, but shed light on which explanations are likely to be important.

Suggested Citation

  • Suren Basov & Mireille Jacobson & Jeffrey A. Miron, 2001. "Prohibition and the Market for Illegal Drugs," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(4), pages 133-157, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:85
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Lang & Ana Nuevo-Chiquero, 2012. "Trends in Self-reported Spontaneous Abortions: 1970–2000," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 989-1009, August.
    2. Kenneth W. Clements & Xueyan Zhao, 2005. "Economic Aspects of Marijuana," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 05-28, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    3. Leonardo Raffo López, 2010. "Narcotráfico y conflicto: ¿por qué bajó el precio de la cocaína?," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 12(23), pages 229-258, July-Dece.
    4. Dave, Dhaval, 2006. "The effects of cocaine and heroin price on drug-related emergency department visits," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 311-333, March.
    5. Dhaval Dave & Swati Mukerjee, 2011. "Mental health parity legislation, cost‐sharing and substance‐abuse treatment admissions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 161-183, February.
    6. Clements, Kenneth W., 2004. "Three facts about marijuana prices," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), June.
    7. Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Dhaval Dave, 2004. "Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 10688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dhaval Dave, 2004. "Illicit Drug Use Among Arrestees and Drug Prices," NBER Working Papers 10648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Michael Grossman, 2004. "Individual Behaviors and Substance Use: The Role of Price," NBER Working Papers 10948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kuziemko, Ilyana & Levitt, Steven D., 2004. "An empirical analysis of imprisoning drug offenders," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2043-2066, August.
    11. Robert T. Burrus, Jr., 2006. "The Impact of Weight-Based Penalties on Drug Purity and Consumption: A Theoretical Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 629-646, Fall.
    12. James Fogarty, 2004. "The Own-Price Elasticity of Alcohol: A Meta-Analysis," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 04-01, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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