Free traders and drug smugglers: The effects of trade openness on states' ability to combat drug trafficking

  • Bartilow H
  • Eom K
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Abstract

The theoretical literature presents conflicting expectations about the effects of trade openness on the ability of states to interdict drug trafficking. One view expects that trade openness will undermine drug interdiction; a second argues the opposite; a third argues that trade openness does not necessarily affect drug interdiction. This article assesses empirically the effects of trade openness on drug interdiction for countries in the Americas using a pooled time-series cross-sectional statistical model. It finds that trade openness decreases the interdiction capabilities of states in drug-consuming countries while increasing those of states in drug-producing coun- tries. Greater openness to trade does not have a consistently signif- icant effect on the interdiction capabilities of states in drug transit countries.

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Authors

  • Horace A. Bartilow

  • Kihong Eom

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