Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 148
The intense debate on the effectiveness of the war on drugs contrasts with the lack of empirical evidence on its impacts. To evaluate the effectiveness of control-supply policies, we use micro data from an original survey with farmers living in a coca growing area in Colombia. We find that while eradication and alternative development decrease coca supply, the elasticity of supply of these policies is rather low. The efficiency of anti-drug policies could be increased by investing more in alternative development and less in eradication. Our analysis suggests that changing people's attitudes toward coca can be a promising alternative in the fight against drugs.