Is the war on drugs working? Examining the Colombian case using micro data
The intense debate on the effectiveness of the war on drugs contrasts with the lack of empirical evidence on its impacts. To evaluate the effectiveness of control-supply policies, we use micro data from an original survey with farmers living in a coca growing area in Colombia. We find that while eradication and alternative development decrease coca supply, the elasticity of supply of these policies is rather low. The efficiency of anti-drug policies could be increased by investing more in alternative development and less in eradication. Our analysis suggests that changing people's attitudes toward coca can be a promising alternative in the fight against drugs.
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