A Resource-Constrained Optimal Control Model for Crackdown on Illicit Drug Markets

Tilburg University, CentER Working Paper No. 1999-85

28 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2000

See all articles by Alok Baveja

Alok Baveja

Rutgers Business School - Rutgers University

Gustav Feichtinger

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Econometrics, Operations Research and Systems Theory

R. F. Hartl

University of Vienna

Peter M. Kort

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research; Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

J.L. Haunschmied

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Econometrics, Operations Research and Systems Theory

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

In this paper we present a budget-constrained optimal control model aimed at finding the optimal enforcement profile for a street-level, illicit drug crackdown operation. The objective is defined as minimizing the number of dealers dealing at the end of the crackdown operation, using this as a surrogate measure of residual criminal activity. Analytical results show that optimal enforcement policy will invariably use the budget resources completely. Numerical analysis using realistic estimates of parameters shows that crackdowns normally lead to significant results within a matter of a week, and if they do not, it is likely that they will be offering very limited success even if pursued for a much longer duration. We also show that a ramp-up enforcement policy will be most effective in collapsing a drug market if the drug dealers are risk-seeking, and the policy of using maximum enforcement as early as possible is usually optimal in the case when the dealers are risk averse or risk neutral. The work then goes on to argue that the underlying model has some general characteristics that are both reasonable and intuitive, allowing possible applications in focused, local enforcement operations on other similar illegal activities.

Keywords: crackdown enforcement, optimal control, crime, drugs

JEL Classification: C61, K42

Suggested Citation

Baveja, Alok and Feichtinger, Gustav and Hartl, R. F. and Kort, Peter and Haunschmied, Josef L., A Resource-Constrained Optimal Control Model for Crackdown on Illicit Drug Markets (1999). Tilburg University, CentER Working Paper No. 1999-85, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=200108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.200108

Alok Baveja

Rutgers Business School - Rutgers University ( email )

Gustav Feichtinger (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Econometrics, Operations Research and Systems Theory ( email )

Argentinierstrasse 8
A-1040 Vienna
Austria
+43-1-58801 ext. 11927 (Phone)
+43-1-5054524 (Fax)

R. F. Hartl

University of Vienna ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna 1210, Vienna
Austria
+43-1-4277-38091 (Phone)
+43-1-4277-38094 (Fax)

Peter Kort

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2062 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3072 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://center.uvt.nl/staff/kort/

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2062 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3072 (Fax)

Josef L. Haunschmied

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Econometrics, Operations Research and Systems Theory ( email )

Argentinierstrasse 8
A-1040 Vienna
Austria

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