Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Felipe Valencia and I are organizing a reading group in long-term persistence this term. Today, we'll be discussing "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia" by Buonanno, Durante, Prarolo, and Vanin. Here is the abstract:

This study explains the emergence of the Sicilian mafi a in the XIX century as the
product of the interaction between natural resource abundance and weak institutions. We
advance the hypothesis that the ma a 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 ma a and on the distribution of
sulfur reserves across Sicilian municipalities and nd evidence of a positive and signi cant
e ect of sulphur availability on ma a's di usion. These results remain unchanged when
including department xed-e ects and various geographical and historical controls, when
controlling for spatial correlation, and when comparing pairs of neighboring municipalities
with and without sulfur.

No comments:

Post a Comment