Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic Structure and Vulnerability to Organised Crime: Evidence from Sicily

Lavezzi, Andrea Mario (2008): Economic Structure and Vulnerability to Organised Crime: Evidence from Sicily. Published in: Global Crime , Vol. 3, No. 9 (2008): pp. 198-220.

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The economic analysis of organized crime suggests that some economic activities are particularly vulnerable to penetration by criminal organizations. This paper provides an analysis of the structure of the Sicilian economy and shows that, when compared to other Italian regions, it is characterized by a disproportionate presence of such activities. In particular, the economy of Sicily appears characterized 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 activities of organized crime, such as extortion and cartel enforcement. Hence, we propose an alternative explanation of the persistence of organized crime with respect to explanations based on cultural and social factors

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