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

Listed author(s):
  • Mastrobuoni Giovanni

    (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Patacchini Eleonora

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

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.

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File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rne.2012.11.issue-3/1446-9022.1324/1446-9022.1324.xml?format=INT
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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Network Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 1-43

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:11:y:2012:i:3:n:10
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  1. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-290, June.
  2. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2008. "How to Organize Crime -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1067.
  4. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  5. Alexander, Barbara J, 1997. "The Rational Racketeer: Pasta Protection in Depression Era Chicago," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 175-202, April.
  6. Garoupa, Nuno, 2007. "Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 461-474, July.
  7. Vimal Kumar & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "On The Economics oF Organized Crime," Working Papers 070815, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  8. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
  9. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2007. "Meeting Strangers and Friends of Friends: How Random Are Social Networks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 890-915, June.
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