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Organized Crime Networks: an Application of Network Analysis Techniques to the American Mafia

Author

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  • Mastrobuoni Giovanni

    (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Patacchini Eleonora

    (La Sapienza Università di Roma, EIEF, CEPR and IZA)

Abstract

Using a unique data set on criminal profiles of 800 US Mafia members active in the 1950s and 1960s and on their connections within the Cosa Nostra network, we use simple network analysis techniques to document the structure and composition of the geometry of criminal ties between mobsters. The use of different network centrality measures allows us to collect evidence in line with so far only conjectured views on the functioning of the Mafia. In particular, we shed light on the extent to which family relationships, community roots and ties, legal and illegal activities predict the criminal ranking of the “men of honor,” suggesting the main characteristics that can be used to detect criminal leaders. Our results are remarkably in line with the evidence that mafia organizations tend to be extremely hierarchical.

Suggested Citation

  • Mastrobuoni Giovanni & Patacchini Eleonora, 2012. "Organized Crime Networks: an Application of Network Analysis Techniques to the American Mafia," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-43, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:11:y:2012:i:3:n:10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2013. "The Value of Connections: Evidence from the Italian-American Mafia," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 335, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Buonanno, Paolo & Durante, Ruben & Prarolo, Giovanni & Vanin, Paolo, 2011. "On the historical and geographic origins of the Sicilian mafia," MPRA Paper 37009, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Feb 2012.
    3. Lindquist, Matthew & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Key Players in Co-Offending Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 9889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Hahn, Youjin & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Network Structure and Education Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 8872, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo & Paolo Vanin, 2012. "Poor institutions, rich mines: resource curse and the origins of the Sicilian mafia," Working Papers 2012/29, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. Jonathan Lehne & Jacob N. Shapiro & Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India," Working Papers halshs-01349350, HAL.
    7. Youjin Hahn & Asadul Islam & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2015. "Teams, Organization and Education Outcomes: Evidence from a field experiment in Bangladesh," Monash Economics Working Papers 35-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    8. Timo Hiller, 2017. "Too Big to Jail? Key-Player Policies When the Network is Endogenous," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 17/693, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Nikos Bozionelos, 2014. "Careers Patterns in Greek Academia: Social Capital and Intelligent Careers, but for Whom?," Post-Print hal-01016605, HAL.

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