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

66 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2019 Last revised: 8 Oct 2020

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 7, 2020

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 the behavioral reactions of people. This is particularly problematic in the case of policies that are announced prior to their implementation. This paper shows that a naive an untimely policy announcement generated an unprecedented escalation in the production of cocaine in Colombia, offsetting almost 20 years of US-backed efforts to fight the war on drugs in that country and billions of dollars invested.

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 (October 7, 2020). 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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