Socio-Economic Inequalities and Organized Crime: an Empirical Analysis

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In this chapter we contribute to the recent literature (e.g., Istat, 2010, Acciari et al., 2016, Guell et al., 2017) that provides evidence that inequality is high and social mobility is low in the Italian regions and prov-inces where organized crime is widespread such as those of Southern Italy. We complement this line of work in two respects. First, using a novel pan-el dataset at the regional level for the period 1985-2014 we investigate the relationship between inequality and organized crime at the regional level, exploiting both time and cross-sectional variation. Second, we assess the role of social mobility in organized crime. Our main finding is that higher inequality leads to higher organized crime development. The results are robust for different organized crime measures and inequality indices. For all measures the ratio of 90th quintile over the 10th in the distribution is a strong predictor of organized crime, even if we control for other covariates that capture economic development, education, etc. We also find that consumption inequality performs better that income inequality as the relevant inequality measure. Finally, we conduct a provincial level analysis to study the effect of socio-economic mobility on organized crime. We consider three alternative measures of social mobility. We find that lower socio-economic mobility displays a robust association with organized crime development
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteUnderstanding Recruitment to Organized Crime and Terrorism
Numero di pagine27
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

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