Coke stats

It would be interesting to see some statistics on the usage of cocaine and cocaine derivatives, by country, with value and volume sales broken down by end product, income group and ethnic group.

Why? I’d like to know to what extent the stereotypes of crack being a drug for low-income black people and powder being a drug for high-income white people [*] are true, whether low-income groups pay a significantly lower price, and how much usage of either comes from groups who aren’t stereotypical consumers.

Working out this data would actually be quite a similar project to the work I’m doing at the moment, except that the ‘interviewing people in the industry and asking them to describe market conditions’ side of things would be somewhat less feasible. And to make any cash out of the project, the results would need to be written as a mass-market book, not a database sold to people in the industry. Unless the world is even stranger than I believe it to be.

So… if anyone who isn’t an international drugs baron wants to pay me to spend a year working on this, then I’m open to offers.

(vaguely inspired by some Harry Hutton Killer Facts).

[*] ‘People’ is used purely as a biological descriptor in this context, and shouldn’t necessarily be taken as assigning any of the positive qualities normally associated with ‘personhood’ to the group under discussion.

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3 thoughts on “Coke stats

  1. Steve Levitt did a paper about a drug gang’s finances. It turns out that most of them make less than minimum wage.

    He just won the John Bates Clark medal for best economist under 40, so presumably he knows his onions.

  2. The US gov’t paper is a bloody good start.

    It’s US-only and doesn’t break down by income groups though – to get to the kind of level I’m looking for I’d need that one, plus similar sources or my own surveys covering at least four or five other countries; then I’d need to spend several weeks building a model that related consumption to social characteristics to apply to the countries where no data was available and to relate class/age/race stats to income stats.

    Not so impressed by the AP article – see comments on your blog.

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