Precursor to crime : an instrumental variable analysis of the effects of meth supply interdictions on crime.

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In the late 1990s, the use of methamphetamines (meth) grew substantially. At the same time, crime fell prodigiously, seemingly at the same time as two governmental supply interdictions on two key chemical precursors of meth. The “War on Drugs” has been the subject of continuous and contentious discussion for many years, but very little in the way of causal evidence has been produced, except for one paper by Dobkin and Nicosia from 2009 that finds no effect from these interdictions on property or violent crime. Notably, Dobkin and Nicosia use data from California alone. This paper expands upon their work by utilizing a procedure similar to that used by Cunningham and Finlay in their 2012 examination of the effect of these same interdictions on the foster care system. This paper finds that these interdictions had no effect nationwide on the levels of either property or violent crime.

Methamphetamine. Government intervention. Crime.