Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/228205
Authors: 
Zambiasi, Diego
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper Series No. WP20/25
Abstract: 
The Dark Web has changed the way drugs are traded globally by shifting trade away from the streets and onto the web. In this paper, I study whether the Dark Web has an impact on street crime, a common side effect of traditional drug trade. To identify a causal effect, I use daily data from the US and exploit unexpected shutdowns of large online drug trading platforms. In a regression discontinuity design, I compare crime rates in days after the shutdowns to those immediately preceding them. I find that shutting down Dark Web markets leads to a significant increase in drug trade in the streets. However, the effect is short-lived. In the days immediately following shutdowns, drug-related crimes increase by five to almost ten percent but revert to pre-shutdown levels within ten days. I find no impact of shutdowns of Dark Web marketplaces on thefts, assaults, homicides and prostitution.
Subjects: 
dark web
darknet markets
drugs
crime
JEL: 
K42
K24
L13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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