Monday, March 12, 2012

Alphaville Strays onto Our Turf: "Property rights and the economic origins of the Sicilian mafia"

From FT Alphaville:
Fascinating abstract of a new paper by Paolo Buonanno, Ruben Durante, Giovanni Prarolo, and Paolo Vanin:
This research attempts to explain the large differences in the early diffusion of the mafia across different areas of Sicily. We advance the hypothesis that, after the demise of Sicilian feudalism, the lack of publicly provided property-right protection from widespread banditry favored the development of a florid market for private protection and the emergence of a cartel of protection providers: the mafia. This would especially be the case in those areas (prevalently concentrated in the Western part of the island) characterized by the production and commercialization of sulphur and citrus fruits, Sicily’s most valuable export goods whose international demand was soaring at the time.
Via NEP-HIS and a hat tip to Jason Zweig’s twitter feed. The paper is an attempt to explain why the mafia arose in Sicily’s west about a hundred years before it appeared on the rest of the island....MORE
Previously on Climateer Investing:
Oct. 2007
Mafia crime is 7% of GDP in Italy, group reports
May 2008
Why the Mafia Loves Garbage
May 2009
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
May 2009
Zeitgeist: Mafia Cash Increases Grip on Sinking Italy Defying Berlusconi
Jan. 2010
Italian mobsters buck downturn, may target bourse (stock market for you Americans)
Long time readers know that I am just fascinated by this stuff, see links below....
Sept. 2010
Police in Italy Seize Mafia-linked assets worth $1.9 billion "Mob was Going Green"
Mar 2011
Japanese Mafia Steps Up With Disaster Aid
The writer, Jake Adelstein, is one crazy mo-fo.
He is the pre-eminent Tokyo police-beat reporter writing in English, specializing in vice and organized crime.
He was also the first American to work for a Japanese newspaper as a Japanese language reporter.
His reporting of the UCLA organ transplant scam (because of their tattoos Yakuza often have kidney and especially liver problems) garnered him  a few death threats and from time to time his sources decide to beat him to a pulp.
From the Daily Beast:
Yakuza to the Rescue
Nov. 2011
Japan's New Anti-organized Crime Law Playing Havoc With Golf, Pizza Industries

Compared to Alpahaville's:
 Gangster economics
The non-Yakuza bounce
Goodfella game theory
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
Yakuza makes traders offers they can’t refuse

Granted I linked to one of theirs and didn't count approx. 15 "Further, Further Reading" but still...