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Mafia in the ballot box

  • De Feo, Giuseppe
  • De Luca, Giacomo

We study the impact of organized crime on electoral competition. Assuming that the mafia is able to bring votes to the supported party in exchange of money, we show that (i) the strongest party is willing to pay the highest price to secure mafia services; (ii) the volume of electoral trade with the mafia increases with political competition and with the efficiency of the mafia. Studying in detail parliamentary elections in Sicily for the period 1946- 1992, we document the significant support given by the Sicilian Mafia to the Christian Democratic party, starting at least from the 1970s. This is consistent with our theoretical predictions, as political competition became much tighter during the 1970s and the Sicilian mafia experienced an extensive centralization process towards the end of the 1960s, which increased substantially its control of the territory. We also provide evidence that in exchange for its electoral support the mafia got economic advantages for its activities in the construction industry.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/529
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2013-104.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:529
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  1. 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.
  2. Arcangelo Dimico & Alessia Isopi & Ola Olsson, . "Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons," Discussion Papers 12/01, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Rafael Santos, 2009. "The Monopoly of Violence: Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 15578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, And Parliaments In Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967, August.
  5. Rabah Amir, 2005. "Supermodularity and Complementarity in Economics: An Elementary Survey," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 636-660, January.
  6. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1737-65, December.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. P. Buonanno & R. Durante & G. Prarolo & P. Vanin, 2012. "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Working Papers wp844, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  10. Varese, Federico, 2001. "The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297369.
  11. Daniele, Vittorio & Marani, Ugo, 2011. "Organized crime, the quality of local institutions and FDI in Italy: A panel data analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 132-142, March.
  12. Albanese Giuseppe & Marinelli Giuseppe, 2013. "Organized Crime and Productivity: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 367-394.
  13. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
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