Breaking Drug Trafficking Chains: The Real Name Mailing Regulation and the Decline of Drug Use

Prof. Pinghan LIANG
School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University

Date: 11 March 2024 (Monday)
Time: 02:30 pm to 04:00 pm
Venue: E22-G015
Host: Prof. Jia YUAN, Associate Professor in Business Economics


Postal services have become an important channel for drug trafficking worldwide. This study examines the impact of real-name mailing regulations on drug use. Based on the universe of drug arrests in a Chinese province, the difference-in-differences analysis reveals that after the implementation of this regulation, on average, a town with ten percent higher courier service penetration exhibited a 0.78 percent reduction in drug arrests. This effect persisted for at least one year. We exploit the early development of the courier service industry and use the early mulberry tree planting status as an Instrumental Variable for courier service penetration. We found no evidence that police enforcement changed or that drug users substituted alternative substances. Further analysis reveals that the number of first-time users has diminished, while the number of addicted users remains constant. We suggest the potential of regulating private courier services in deterring drug use.



Prof. Pinghan LIANG is Professor in the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University. He received the PhD in Economics from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in 2010. He held visiting positions in the University of Oxford, Northwestern University, Hong Kong Baptists University, Academia Sinica,etc.. His current research interest include local government behavior, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Political Economy, Economics of Crime. His papers appeared in Economic Journal, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Comparative Economics, China Economic Review, etc., and other leading Chinese academic journals. He received various grants from the NSFC and the National Office of Social Sciences. His research received many awards, including the prestiguous award from the Ministry of Education. His talk on the Economic Analysis of Crime on Yixi (Chinese TED-style talk) received thousands of views.

 All are welcome!