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Survey Evidence on Black Market Liquor in Colombia

aInter-American Development Bank, USA
bDepartment of Economics, West Virginia University, USA
cSchool of Economics and Finance, Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

The Econometrics of Complex Survey Data

ISBN: 978-1-78756-726-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-725-2

Publication date: 10 April 2019


In 2014, the Colombian Government commissioned a unique national survey on illegal liquor. Interviewers purchased bottles of liquor from interviewees and tested them for authenticity in a laboratory. Two factors predict whether liquor is contraband (smuggled): (1) the absence of a receipt and (2) the presence of a discount offered by the seller. Neither factor predicts whether a bottle is adulterated. The results back a story in which sellers are complicit with a contraband economy, but whether buyers are complicit remains unclear. However, buyers are more likely to receive adulterated liquor when specifically asking for a discount.




We thank two anonymous referees and participants of the 2017 Econometrics of Complex Survey Design workshop at the Bank of Canada for their helpful comments. We also thank Jacques-Emmanuel Galimard for sharing R code on a multiple imputation procedure. Finally, we thank Universidad EAFIT and the FND – Federación Nacional de Departamentos – for allowing us to use the data. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Board of Directors, or the countries they represent.


Canavire-Bacarreza, G.J., Lundberg, A.L. and Montoya-Agudelo, A. (2019), "Survey Evidence on Black Market Liquor in Colombia", The Econometrics of Complex Survey Data (Advances in Econometrics, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 287-314.



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