Kingpin Approaches to Fighting Crime and Community Violence: Evidence from Mexico's Drug War

33 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jason M. Lindo

Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

María Padilla-Romo

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

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Abstract

This study considers the effects of the kingpin strategy, an approach to fighting organized crime in which law-enforcement efforts focus on capturing the leaders of the criminal organization, on community violence in the context of Mexico's drug war. Newly available historical data on drug-trafficking organizations' areas of operation at the municipality level and monthly homicide data allow us to control for a rich set of fixed effects and to leverage variation in the timing of kingpin captures to estimate their effects. This analysis indicates that kingpin captures have large and sustained effects on the homicide rate in the municipality of capture and smaller but significant effects on other municipalities where the kingpin's organization has a presence, supporting the notion that removing kingpins can have destabilizing effects throughout an organization that are accompanied by escalations in violence.

Keywords: violence, crime, kingpin, Mexico, drugs, cartels

JEL Classification: I18, K42, O12

Suggested Citation

Lindo, Jason M. and Padilla-Romo, Maria, Kingpin Approaches to Fighting Crime and Community Violence: Evidence from Mexico's Drug War. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9067, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2612319

Jason M. Lindo (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Maria Padilla-Romo

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

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College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

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