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Organized Crime, Violence, and Politics

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Abstract

We investigate how criminal organizations strategically use violence to influence elections in order to get captured politicians elected. The model offers novel testable implications about the use of pre-electoral violence under different types of electoral systems and different degrees of electoral competition. We test these implications by exploiting data on homicide rates in Italy since 1887, comparing the extent of “electoral-violence cycles” between areas with a higher and lower presence of organized crime, under democratic and non-democratic regimes, proportional and majoritarian elections, and between contested and non-contested districts. We provide additional evidence on the influence of organized crime on politics using parliamentary speeches of politicians elected in Sicily during the period 1945-2013.

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  • Alberto Alesina & Salvatore Piccolo & Paolo Pinotti, 2016. "Organized Crime, Violence, and Politics," CSEF Working Papers 433, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:433
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    1. Giuseppe De Feo & Giacomo Davide De Luca, 2017. "Mafia in the Ballot Box," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 134-167, August.
    2. Daniele, Gianmarco, 2019. "Strike one to educate one hundred: Organized crime, political selection and politicians’ ability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 650-662.
    3. Barone, Guglielmo & Narciso, Gaia, 2015. "Organized crime and business subsidies: Where does the money go?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 98-110.
    4. Tommaso Nannicini & Andrea Stella & Guido Tabellini & Ugo Troiano, 2013. "Social Capital and Political Accountability," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 222-250, May.
    5. Antonio Acconcia & Giovanni Immordino & Salvatore Piccolo & Patrick Rey, 2014. "Accomplice Witnesses and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1116-1159, October.
    6. Paul Collier & Pedro Vicente, 2012. "Violence, bribery, and fraud: the political economy of elections in Sub-Saharan Africa," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 117-147, October.
    7. P. Buonanno & G. Prarolo & P. Vanin, 2014. "Organized Crime and Electoral Outcomes in Sicily," Working Papers wp965, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jiancai Pi & Pengqing Zhang, 2020. "Organized crime and wage inequality," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 67(3), pages 344-361, July.
    2. Scognamiglio, Annalisa, 2018. "When the mafia comes to town," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 573-590.
    3. Mustafa Caglayan & Alessandro Flamini & Babak Jahanshahi, 2017. "Organized Crime and Technology," DEM Working Papers Series 136, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    4. Sergio Beraldo & Massimo Bordignon & Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2017. "Fiscally Responsible Mafia-clans," Working papers 043, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Giuseppe De Feo & Giacomo Davide De Luca, 2020. "Weak States: Causes and Consequences of the Sicilian Mafia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 537-581.
    6. Astrid Gamba & Giovanni Immordino & Salvatore Piccolo, 2016. "Organized Crime and the Bright Side of Subversion of Law," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def039, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    7. Ursula E. Daxecker & Brandon C. Prins, 2016. "The politicization of crime: electoral competition and the supply of maritime piracy in Indonesia," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 375-393, December.
    8. Gamba, Astrid & Immordino, Giovanni & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2018. "Corruption, organized crime and the bright side of subversion of law," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 79-88.
    9. Germá-Bel & Maximilian Holst, 2016. "“A two-Sided coin: Disentangling the economic effects of the 'War on drugs' in Mexico”," IREA Working Papers 201611, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2016.
    10. Marco Le Moglie & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2017. ""Mafia Inc.": when godfathers become entrepreneurs," ECON - Working Papers 251, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    organized crime; electoral violence; voting; political discourse;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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