Collateral Damage: The Impact of Forced Eradication of Illicit Crops on Human Capital

65 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2024

See all articles by Daniela Horta-Sáenz

Daniela Horta-Sáenz

Aix Marseille University

Anderson Tami-Patiño

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 14, 2024

Abstract

The role of eradication policies in decreasing drug trade, insecurity, and ultimately fostering development remains largely debated. This paper examines the unintended consequences of aerial fumigation of coca on human capital accumulation and its medium-term socioeconomic impacts in Colombia. Employing a spatial regression discontinuity design and utilizing newly digitized data on the exact location subject of aerial spraying, we find that eradication increases school dropout and failure rates in the short term. A key mechanism of these impacts is the negative income shock experienced by households. Furthermore, we document that even after the ban on aerial spraying in 2015, villages exposed to aerial eradication exhibit worse socioeconomic outcomes, including lower schooling, higher child labor, increased early marriage, and deteriorating living conditions.

Keywords: Aerial spraying, Coca, Glyphosate, Human capital, Income shock

JEL Classification: D13, D74, I21, J24

Suggested Citation

Horta-Sáenz, Daniela and Tami-Patiño, Anderson, Collateral Damage: The Impact of Forced Eradication of Illicit Crops on Human Capital (January 14, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4694457 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4694457

Anderson Tami-Patiño (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Miami, FL 3199
United States
305348 3281 (Phone)

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