Organised Crime, Captured Politicians and the Allocation of Public Resources

68 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2018 Last revised: 13 Apr 2020

See all articles by Marco Di Cataldo

Marco Di Cataldo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment; Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics

Nicola Mastrorocco

Trinity College Dublin

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2020

Abstract

What is the impact of organised crime on the allocation of public resources and on tax collection? This paper studies the consequences of collusion between members of criminal organisations and politicians in Italian local governments. In order to capture the presence of organised crime, we exploit the staggered enforcement of a national law allowing the dissolution of a municipal government upon evidence of collusion between elected officials and the mafia. We measure the consequences of this collusion by using newly collected data on public spending, local taxes and elected politicians at the local level. Difference-in-differences estimates reveal that infiltrated local governments spend more on average for construction and waste management, less for municipal police, and collect fewer taxes for waste and garbage. In addition, we uncover key elements of local elections associated with mafia-government collusion.

Keywords: organised crime, collusion, public spending, Italy

JEL Classification: K42, H72, D72

Suggested Citation

Di Cataldo, Marco and Mastrorocco, Nicola, Organised Crime, Captured Politicians and the Allocation of Public Resources (April 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3124949 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3124949

Marco Di Cataldo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, Veneto 30121
Italy

Nicola Mastrorocco (Contact Author)

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

Arts Building
Room 3014
Dublin
Ireland

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