The Rise and Persistence of Illegal Crops: Evidence from a Naive Policy Announcement

65 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2019 Last revised: 14 Apr 2021

See all articles by Mounu Prem

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario

Daniel Mejia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 9, 2021

Abstract

Policies based on prohibition and repression to fight the war on drugs have largely failed in a variety of contexts. However, incentive-based policies may also fail and have unintended negative consequences if policymakers do not properly anticipate behavioral reactions. This is a particularly important concern in the case of policies announced prior to their implementation. In this paper, we show that a naive and untimely policy announcement generated an unprecedented escalation in cocaine production in Colombia, offsetting almost 20 years and billions of dollars of U.S.-backed efforts to stop drug production and cartel action.

Keywords: K42, D78

JEL Classification: Coca growing, Drug war, Anticipation effects, Policy announcement, Colombia

Suggested Citation

Prem, Mounu and Vargas, Juan F. and Mejia, Daniel, The Rise and Persistence of Illegal Crops: Evidence from a Naive Policy Announcement (March 9, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3466363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3466363

Mounu Prem (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

Daniel Mejia

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1 No. 18 A - 10
Bogotá, AA4976
Colombia
57(1)3394949 ext 3737 (Phone)
57(1)3324492 (Fax)

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