*Direct correspondence to Stella M. Rouse, Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University, 240 Stubbs Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5433 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. Stella Rouse will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study. The authors thank James Garand, David Sobek, Kathleen Bratton, and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 2004, Chicago, Illinois, and at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, January 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Drug-Laden Balloon: U.S. Military Assistance and Coca Production in the Central Andes*
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2006
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 87, Issue 3, pages 540–557, September 2006
How to Cite
Rouse, S. M. and Arce, M. (2006), The Drug-Laden Balloon: U.S. Military Assistance and Coca Production in the Central Andes. Social Science Quarterly, 87: 540–557. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00395.x
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2006
Objective. This article explores the empirical effects of U.S. drug policy on coca cultivation in the Central Andes. We assess the impact of U.S. military assistance on the production of coca in the Central Andes, while controlling for other explanatory variables that influence coca cultivation.
Method. Using data from 1980–2001 for Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru, we perform a pooled cross-sectional time-series analysis.
Results. The effects of U.S. military assistance on coca cultivation are not uniform across the Central Andes. Coca production decreased in Bolivia and Peru and increased in Colombia. Total coca production in the Central Andes, however, remained unchanged.
Conclusion. This study is consistent with existing literature that points out the obstacles governments face as they attempt to suppress illicit goods. Specifically, our empirical findings support the idea of the “balloon effect,” whereby government efforts to “squeeze” illicit trade in one area result in the expansion of that trade elsewhere.