Economic Structure and Vulnerability to Organised Crime: Evidence from Sicily

Andrea Mario Lavezzi, Andrea Mario Lavezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The economic analysis of organised crime suggests that some economic activities areparticularly vulnerable to penetration by criminal organisations. This paper provides an analysis of the structure of the Sicilian economy and shows that, when compared with other Italian regions, it is characterised by a disproportionate presence of such activities. In particular, the economy of Sicily appears characterised by: (i) a large dimension of traditional sectors, such as the Construction sector, which also has a strong territorial specificity; (ii) a large presence of small firms; (iii) a low level of technology; (iii) a large public sector. The joint presence of these features creates fertile soil for the typical activitiesof organised crime, such as extortion and cartel enforcement. Hence, we propose analternative explanation of the persistence of organised crime with respect to explanations based on cultural and social factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-220
Number of pages22
JournalGlobal Crime
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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