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Should the Dea's Stride Data Be Used for Economic Analyses of Markets for Illegal Drugs?


  • Horowitz, Joel L.

    () (University of Iowa)


The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) STRIDE data contain records of acquisitions of illegal drugs by undercover agents and informants of the DEA and Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia. These data are widely used in economic analyses of markets for illegal drugs. The STRIDE data are mainly records of acquisitions made to support criminal investigations and are not a random sample of an identifiable population. This paper presents evidence that the STRIDE data on cocaine and heroin prices are not representative of market prices for those drugs. It is concluded that the usefulness of the STRIDE data for economic and policy analysis is limited at best. STRIDE is not a reliable source of price data for economic and policy analyses that require accurate measures of price levels and variations.

Suggested Citation

  • Horowitz, Joel L., 2000. "Should the Dea's Stride Data Be Used for Economic Analyses of Markets for Illegal Drugs?," Working Papers 00-02, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uia:iowaec:00-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-411, July.
    2. Frank J. Chaloupka & Michael Grossman & John A. Tauras, 1999. "The Demand for Cocaine and Marijuana by Youth," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: An Integration of Econometrics and Behavioral Economic Research, pages 133-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yuan, Yuehong & Caulkins, Jonathan P., 1998. "The Effect of Variation in High-level Domestic Drug Enforcement on Variation in Drug Prices," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 265-276, December.
    4. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J., 1998. "The demand for cocaine by young adults: a rational addiction approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 427-474, August.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Jeffrey DeSimone, 1998. "Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 149-164, Spring.
    7. Hahn, Jinyong, 1995. "Bootstrapping Quantile Regression Estimators," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 105-121, February.
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    More about this item


    price index; sample design; cocaine; heroin;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection

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