Criminal Recruitment or Victimization: The Effects of the Mexican Drug War on Education

40 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2019

See all articles by Ivan Lopez Cruz

Ivan Lopez Cruz

Sabanci University

Nicholas A. Pairolero

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Date Written: September 1, 2019

Abstract

Using a novel data set, which we have constructed using Mexican municipal sources, containing measures of violence, victimization, detention, and educational outcomes, we estimate the effects of criminal recruitment and exposure to violence on high school dropouts in Mexico during the War on Drugs. Our identification strategy deals with two potential sources of reverse causality. First, exogenous variation in violence caused by increasing Colombian cocaine seizure rates is exploited to handle a potential two-way relationship between education and violence. Second, possible bidirectional causation between education and recruitment is addressed through a matching procedure that exploits the variation in detected criminal recruitment across municipalities exhibiting similar educational outcomes. At the national level, we estimate that between 11,900 and 24,400 students dropped out from high school out of exposure to violence. As for recruitment effects, we estimate that they represented between 7,250 and 8,416 dropouts over the 2007-2010 period.

Keywords: War on Drugs, Violence, Human Capital, Crime

JEL Classification: C23, D74, H75, I21, O54

Suggested Citation

Lopez Cruz, Ivan and Pairolero, Nicholas, Criminal Recruitment or Victimization: The Effects of the Mexican Drug War on Education (September 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3480335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3480335

Ivan Lopez Cruz (Contact Author)

Sabanci University ( email )

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Orhanli
Istanbul, 34956
Turkey
216 483 9337 (Phone)

Nicholas Pairolero

United States Patent and Trademark Office ( email )

Alexandria, VA
United States

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