The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper investigates the relationship between unrecorded economic activity associated with the production of illicit coca and formally recorded economic activity in Peru. It does so by attempting to construct new regional level estimates for coca production and by implementing recently developed panel time series methods that are robust to regional heterogeneity and unobserved regional inter-dependencies. The paper finds that on balance illicit coca production crowds out formal sector production at the regional level, regardless of whether unanticipated changes occur nationally or regionally. However, total output nevertheless increases, since formal sector production is crowded out less than one for one.