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What Do Economists Know About Crime?

What Do Economists Know About Crime?

Chapter:
(p.269) 8. What Do Economists Know About Crime?
Source:
The Economics of Crime
Author(s):
Angela K. DillsJeffrey A. MironGarrett Summers
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226153766.003.0009

This chapter focuses on illegal markets for drugs and for one class of possible contributions to the study of crime in Latin America. But this is possible only if the importance of drugs in Latin America is provided and given the study of markets is an area where economists can be expected to have substantive comparative expertise. This chapter provocatively provides a pessimistic view of the state of knowledge in the field, arguing that the broad trends in crime over the past forty years suggest that few things have worked. It focuses on what happens to supply and demand when an artificial law prevents market clearing, connecting drug prohibition and violent crime. According to the chapter, a large part of the problem arises because government prohibition policies affect the nature and amount of dispute resolution that takes place through legal means.

Keywords:   illegal markets, drugs, Latin America, drug prohibition, violent crime, prohibition policies

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