On the Distributive Costs of Drug-Related Homicides

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We exploit the manifold increase in homicides in 2008–11 in Mexico resulting from its war on organized drug traffickers to estimate the effect of drug-related homicides on housing prices. We use an unusually rich data set that provides national coverage of housing prices and homicides and exploits within-municipality variations. We find that the impact of violence on housing prices is borne entirely by the poor sectors of the population. An increase in homicides equivalent to 1 standard deviation leads to a 3 percent decrease in the price of low-income housing.

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