Prohibition vs. Peace

66 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2013 Last revised: 7 Apr 2019

See all articles by Juan Camilo Castillo

Juan Camilo Castillo

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Dorothy Kronick

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: October 17, 2018


Drug traffickers sometimes divide profits via peaceful agreement. Other times they fight. We propose a model to investigate this variation, focusing on the state’s effort to enforce prohibition. Seizing illegal goods generally increases trafficker profits, and higher profits fuel violence. Killing kingpins makes crime bosses short-sighted, further hindering peaceful pacts. The results help explain empirical patterns of violence in criminal war, which is less studied than interstate or civil war but often as deadly.

Keywords: Prohibition, Illegal Markets, War on Drugs, Enforcement, Violence, Supply Reduction

JEL Classification: D74, K42

Suggested Citation

Castillo, Juan Camilo and Kronick, Dorothy, Prohibition vs. Peace (October 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Juan Camilo Castillo (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

Dorothy Kronick

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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