The Economics Department

Francisco Thoumi

Tinker Visiting Professor, Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, UT

Mon, October 26, 2009 | BRB 1.118

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Necessary and Contributing Factors to the Development of Illegal Drug Industry in Colombia



The common attributed causes for the development of the illegal drug industry are high profits, poverty, social exclusion, economic crisis and corruption. Neither of this causes nor the existence of the illegal drug demand explains the high concentration in the production of cocaine and heroin in a few countries. This production does not have causes in the newtonian sense of y=f(x). The development of illegal economic activity has some contributing factors and a few necessary ones. There is not sufficient factors for its development. The main necessary factor is a large norms gap between the formal legal norms of the State and the accepted behavioral norms of some groups in the society that reject the law. The contributing and necessary factors make some countries vulnerable but the lack of a sufficient factor means that a society that has a contributing and necessary factors might not be involved in illegal economic activities. In such society the strengthening of the contributing factor like an economic crises make trigger the development of the illegal industry and appear to be a cost. Anti-drug and anti-crime policies attack the contributing factors but they don not close the gap between formal and informal norms. this is way repressive anti-drug policies might at best achieve some short term results, but they will never eliminate drug traffic. the only solution will be to establish the rule of law. Quite a mighty task.

Paper link:

Bookmark and Share