Out of the Darkness: Re-Allocation of Confiscated Real Estate Mafia Assets

49 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2019

See all articles by Filippo Boeri

Filippo Boeri

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Marco Di Cataldo

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

Elisabetta Pietrostefani

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), Department of Geography and Environment; University College London - Institute for Global Prosperity

Date Written: November 17, 2019

Abstract

In an effort to tackle criminal groups, the Italian State allows the confiscation of properties belonging to individuals convicted for mafia-related crimes and their reallocation to a new use. This policy is considered both as an anti-mafia measure and as a way to partially compensate the society for the harm made by the criminal organisations. Whether and how this measure has had an impact on the local areas where it is implemented, however, has not yet been investigated. We test the hypothesis that the policy contributes to the regeneration of urban spaces by assessing its impact on the value of buildings in the vicinity of confiscated/re-allocated properties. To this aim, we perform difference-in-differences analyses, both at the level of local housing markets and at the level of individual buildings, investigating the externalities of the policy across the whole Italian territory. The results unveil a positive and significant effect of re-allocations of confiscated real estate assets on house prices, declining with distance from the re-allocation site. The impact is larger in cities with stronger mafia presence and in more deprived neighbourhoods. This suggests that the policy contributes to add value to the territory where it is applied and favours processes of urban revitalisation. These findings have important implications for the development of deprived urban areas characterised by a strong presence of criminal organisations.

Keywords: organised crime, real estate confiscation, hedonic analysis, urban renewal policy, Italy

JEL Classification: K42, H23, R32, I24

Suggested Citation

Boeri, Filippo and Di Cataldo, Marco and Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, Out of the Darkness: Re-Allocation of Confiscated Real Estate Mafia Assets (November 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3488626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3488626

Filippo Boeri

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
07481190187 (Phone)
Sw9 9LE (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/geography-and-environment/people/phd-students/filippo-boeri

Marco Di Cataldo (Contact Author)

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

Elisabetta Pietrostefani

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

University College London - Institute for Global Prosperity ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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