IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/econjl/v125y2015i586pf175-f202.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse in the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia

Author

Listed:
  • Paolo Buonanno
  • Ruben Durante
  • Giovanni Prarolo
  • Paolo Vanin

Abstract

With weak law†enforcement institutions, a positive shock to the value of natural resources may increase demand for private protection and opportunities for rent appropriation through extortion, favouring the emergence of mafia†type organisations. We test this hypothesis by investigating the emergence of the mafia in twentieth century Sicily, where a severe lack of state property†rights enforcement coincided with a steep rise in international demand for sulphur, Sicily's most valuable export commodity. Using historical data on the early incidence of mafia activity and on the distribution of sulphur reserves, we document that the mafia was more present in municipalities with greater sulphur availability.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo & Paolo Vanin, 2015. "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse in the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(586), pages 175-202, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:125:y:2015:i:586:p:f175-f202
    DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12236
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12236
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/ecoj.12236?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "On the Incidence of Civil War in Africa," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 13-28, February.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    3. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    4. Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the state does not," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 173-202, November.
    5. Varese, Federico, 2005. "The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279494.
    6. Kai Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 417-443, June.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    8. Stelios Michalopoulos & Alireza Naghavi & Giovanni Prarolo, 2010. "Trade and Geography in the Economic Origins of Islam: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2010.75, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Galor, Oded, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," MPRA Paper 76646, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. William P. Jennings, Jr., 1984. "A Note on the Economics of Organized Crime," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 315-321, Jul-Sep.
    11. repec:rie:review:v:17:y:2012:i:3:n:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Acemoglu, Daron & García-Jimeno, Camilo & Robinson, James A., 2012. "Finding Eldorado: Slavery and long-run development in Colombia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 534-564.
    13. Dimico, Arcangelo & Isopi, Alessia & Olsson, Ola, 2017. "Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1083-1115, December.
    14. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    15. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
    16. 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.
    17. Del Monte, Alfredo & Pennacchio, Luca, 2011. "The structure of agricultural production and the causes of brigandage and criminal organisations in Italy after Unification: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 38875, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-1539, June.
    19. Anderson, James E. & Bandiera, Oriana, 2005. "Private enforcement and social efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 341-366, August.
    20. Paolo Buonanno & Giacomo Pasini & Paolo Vanin, 2012. "Crime and social sanction," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 193-218, March.
    21. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Cursed by Resources or Institutions?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 1117-1131, August.
    22. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    23. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey," Scholarly Articles 4454156, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    24. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
    25. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    26. Fiorentini,Gianluca & Peltzman,Sam (ed.), 1997. "The Economics of Organised Crime," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521629553, October.
    27. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    28. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    29. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Naghavi, Alireza & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2010. "Trade and Geography in the Economic Origins of Islam: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 23136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    30. Haber, Stephen & Menaldo, Victor, 2011. "Do Natural Resources Fuel Authoritarianism? A Reappraisal of the Resource Curse," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-26, February.
    31. Jeffrey Sachs & Pia Malaney, 2002. "The economic and social burden of malaria," Nature, Nature, vol. 415(6872), pages 680-685, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo & Paolo Vanin, 2015. "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse in the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(586), pages 175-202, August.
    2. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo & Giovanni Prarolo, 2013. "Rich Mines, Poor Institutions: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/16jvuuvsuc9, Sciences Po.
    3. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo, 2013. "Rich Mines, Poor Institutions: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Working Papers hal-03460966, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo, 2013. "Rich Mines, Poor Institutions: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," SciencePo Working papers hal-03460966, HAL.
    6. Adrian Boos & Karin Holm‐Müller, 2012. "A theoretical overview of the relationship between the resource curse and genuine savings as an indicator for “weak” sustainability," Natural Resources Forum, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 145-159, August.
    7. Anastasia Litina, 2016. "Natural land productivity, cooperation and comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 351-408, December.
    8. Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "The economic costs of organized crime: evidence from southern Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 868, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Carl Henrik Knutsen & Andreas Kotsadam & Eivind Hammersmark Olsen & Tore Wig, 2017. "Mining and Local Corruption in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 61(2), pages 320-334, April.
    11. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    12. Nhabinde, Simeão & Heshmati, Almas, 2020. "The Extractive Industry’s impact on Economic Growth in SADC Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 656, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:125:y:2015:i:586:p:f175-f202. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.