Organized Crime, Violence, and Politics
We investigate how criminal organizations strategically use violence to influence elections in order to get captured politicians elected. The model offers novel testable implications about the use of pre-electoral violence under different types of electoral systems and different degrees of electoral competition. We test these implications by exploiting data on homicide rates in Italy since 1887, comparing the extent of ‘electoral-violence cycles’ between areas with a higher and lower presence of organized crime, under democratic and non-democratic regimes, proportional and majoritarian elections, and between contested and non-contested districts. We provide additional evidence on the influence of organized crime on politics using parliamentary speeches of politicians elected in Sicily during the period 1945-2013.
We would like to thank Unicredit and Universities Foundation and EIEF for financial support. For useful comments we are grateful to Ernesto Dal Bo, Melissa Dell, Rafael Di Tella, Nicola Gennaioli, Armando Miano, Aldo Pignataro, Shanker Satyanath, Francesco Sobbrio, Guido Tabellini, and seminar participants at Barcelona GSE Summer Forum, Bocconi, IEB (Barcelona), EEA-ESEM (Toulouse, 2014) and Paris School of Economics. Gabriele Borg, Elisa Facchetti, Armando Miano, and Benjamin Villanyi provided excellent research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Alberto Alesina & Salvatore Piccolo & Paolo Pinotti, 2019. "Organized Crime, Violence, and Politics," The Review of Economic Studies, vol 86(2), pages 457-499. citation courtesy of