How do drug trafficking organizations organize? Drug trafficking organizations continue to operate effectively despite incentives for members to defect, pressure from damaged communities, and government interdiction efforts. This paper identifies the problem of defection in this context and applies insights from the literatures on club goods and extralegal governance institutions to explain the puzzling organization and activities of one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug trafficking organizations, La Familia Michoacana. The group uses a reward and punishment scheme to prevent defection from members and to elicit cooperation from the community and government.
Find this article at Springer Link.