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A survey-based choice experiment on coca cultivation

  • Marcela Ibanez

    (University of Göttingen)

  • Fredrik Carlsson

    (University of Gothenburg)

From 1997 to 2005, an astonishing 5,200 million USD was invested to reduce cocaine production in Colombia, the world’s main cocaine producer. However, little is known about the effectiveness of policies targeting coca cultivation. This paper uses a surveybased experiment to evaluate the effects of the two main policies: eradication and alternative development programs. Our results support Becker’s (1968) model of crime participation and in addition shed light on other non-monetary factors that affect the coca cultivation decision: religion, legitimacy, remoteness, and poverty are found to be important. We find that coca cultivation is inelastic to increases in perceived risk and relative profit so eradication and alternative development would have a rather small effect on coca cultivation. A simple simulation exercise predicts that investing additional hundred thousand dollars in eradication decreases coca cultivation in only 1.5%.

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Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 17.

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Date of creation: 25 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:017
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