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Mythical numbers and the proceeds of organised crime: estimating mafia proceeds in Italy

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  • Francesco Calderoni

Abstract

Organised crime is a field vulnerable to mythical numbers, i.e. exaggerated estimates lacking empirical support, but acquiring acceptance through repetition. The figures on mafia proceeds in Italy are a striking example of this problem. This study proposes an estimation of mafia proceeds in Italy from nine criminal activities (sexual exploitation of women, illicit firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, the illicit cigarette trade, illicit gambling, illicit waste disposal, loan sharking, and extortion racketeering) by region and type of mafia (Cosa Nostra, Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta, Apulian mafias, and other mafias). The results estimate yearly mafia proceeds at approximately €10.7 bn (0.7% of the Italian GDP), discussing the impact on the regional and national economies and the differences among the types of mafias as to their geographical sources of revenues.

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  • Francesco Calderoni, 2014. "Mythical numbers and the proceeds of organised crime: estimating mafia proceeds in Italy," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1-2), pages 138-163, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fglcxx:v:15:y:2014:i:1-2:p:138-163
    DOI: 10.1080/17440572.2014.882778
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