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Violence and Drug Prohibition in Colombia

Author

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  • Medina, Carlos
  • Martínez, Hermes

Abstract

We assess the role of inequality, poverty and drug prohibition, in explaining homicide rates(HR) in Colombia using panel data at the municipality level between 1990 and 1998. We use maximum likelihood estimation to evaluate several specifications of spatial models. When we pool the data we find a significant relation between the HR and poverty which is reinforced when the inequality variables are included in the regression. We use rates of arrest related to drugs as proxy for drug prohibition enforcement, and find no evidence of any net effect in this exercise. We proceed to estimate the model for every year since 1991 to 1998, and find mixed results along the analyzed period, with statistically significant positive coefficients for some years, evidencing a positive net effect for those years of drug prohibition on violence. This result calls for caution in the implementation of global policies meant to improve specific countries’ welfare, such as drug prohibition policies. On the other hand, our proxy for income inequality is not related to violence, while its relationship with poverty is weakly positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Medina, Carlos & Martínez, Hermes, 2003. "Violence and Drug Prohibition in Colombia," MPRA Paper 6935, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6935
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6935/1/MPRA_paper_6935.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:30-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daniel Mejía & Pascual Restrepo, 2013. "Bushes and Bullets: Illegal Cocaine Markets and Violence in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011934, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    3. Ariaster B. Chimeli & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "The Use of Violence in Illegal Markets: Evidence from Mahogany Trade in the Brazilian Amazon," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 30-57, October.
    4. Adriana Camacho & Alejandro Gaviria & Catherine Rodríguez, 2016. "Drug Consumption in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015238, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    5. Adriana Camacho & Alejandro Gaviria & Catherine Rodríguez, 2010. "El consumo de droga en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007607, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Drug Prohibition; Violence; Crime; Spatial Econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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