Economic Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: A Simulation Feedback Model
Pavlov, O. V., & Sardell, J. M. (2021). Economic Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: A Simulation Feedback Model. In R. Y. Cavana, B. C. Dangerfield, O. V. Pavlov, M. J. Radzicki, & I. D. Wheat (Eds.), Feedback Economics: Economic Modeling with System Dynamics (pp. 137-161). New York: Springer.
25 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021 Last revised: 18 Apr 2023
Date Written: 2021
This chapter develops a feedback economic model that explains the rise of the Sicilian mafia in the 19th century. Grounded in economic theory, the model incorporates causal relationships between the mafia’s activities, predation, law enforcement, and the profitability of local businesses. Using computational experiments with the model, we explore how different factors and feedback effects impact the mafia’s activity levels. The model explains important historical observations such as the emergence of the mafia in wealthier regions and its absence in the poorer districts despite the greater levels of banditry.
Keywords: Organized crime; Mafia; Law enforcement; Weak states; Feedback model; Feedback economics; System dynamics
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