publication . Article . Other literature type . 2015

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

Paolo Vanin; Ruben Durante; Giovanni Prarolo; Paolo Buonanno;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Aug 2015
This study explains the emergence of the Sicilian mafia in the XIX century as the product of the interaction between natural resource abundance and weak institutions. We advance the hypothesis that the mafia emerged after the collapse of the Bourbon Kingdom in a context characterized by a severe lack of state property-right enforcement in response to the rising demand for the protection of sulfur - Sicily's most valuable export commodity - whose demand in the international markets was soaring at the time. We test this hypothesis combining data on the early presence of the mafia and on the distribution of sulfur reserves across Sicilian municipalities and find ev...
free text keywords: Resource Curse, Weak Institutions, Mafia-type Organizations, Sicilian Mafia, Poor Institutions, Sicilian, language.human_language, language, Economics, Commodity, Natural resource, International market, Enforcement, Resource curse, Economy
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