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Free Traders and Drug Smugglers: The Effects of Trade Openness on States' Ability to Combat Drug Trafficking

Horace A. Bartilow and Kihong Eom
Latin American Politics and Society
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Summer, 2009), pp. 117-145
Published by: Distributed by Wiley on behalf of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20622728
Page Count: 29
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Free Traders and Drug Smugglers: The Effects of Trade Openness on States' Ability to Combat Drug Trafficking
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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 countries. Greater openness to trade does not have a consistently significant effect on the interdiction capabilities of states in drug transit countries.

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