Economics at your fingertips  

Gang rule: Understanding and Countering Criminal Governance

Christopher Blattman, Benjamin Lessing, Santiago Tobón () and Gustavo Duncan

No 5nyqs, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Gangs govern millions worldwide. Why rule? and how do they respond to states? Many argue that criminal rule provides protection when states do not, and that increasing state services could crowd gangs out. We began by interviewing leaders from 30 criminal groups in Medellín. The conventional view overlooks gangs’ indirect incentives to rule: governing keeps police out and fosters civilian loyalty, protecting other business lines. We present a model of duopolistic competition with returns to loyalty and show under what conditions exogenous changes to state protection causes gangs to change governance levels. We run the first gang-level field experiment, intensifying city governance in select neighborhoods for two years. We see no decrease in gang rule. We also examine a quasi-experiment. New borders in Medellín created discontinuities in access to government services for 30 years. Gangs responded to greater state rule by governing more. We propose alternatives for countering criminal governance.

Date: 2021-02-04
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
Working Paper: Gang rule: Understanding and Countering Criminal Governance (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.31219/

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in SocArXiv from Center for Open Science
Bibliographic data for series maintained by OSF ().

Page updated 2022-09-10
Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:5nyqs