Is crime reduced by highly publicized punishment events? Is crime reduced by law enforcement's public relations work? These longstanding questions are addressed in a novel context-digital drug markets. An analysis of trade data from two large and illegal e-commerce websites, collected on a daily basis for ten months, examined how market revenue was affected by (1) media coverage of police work on such markets and (2) the highly publicized conviction and life-sentencing of a market founder. Trade increased after periods with elevated media coverage, and also after the two court events. Possible explanations for the increase in trade after the trial outcomes are discussed in an analysis of textual conversations in three online forums associated with illegal e-commerce.
- Drug trade
- Illegal markets
- Mass media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Social Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)