The Value of Connections: Evidence from the Italian-American Mafia

YNY: 這是一篇難得一見的研究主題, 以吸毒的幫派紀錄估計組織犯罪網路之網路外部性和其價值。

Date: 2014-01
By: Mastrobuoni, Giovanni (University of Essex)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7925&r=net
Using declassified Federal Bureau of Narcotics (毒品) records on 800 US Mafia members active in the 1950s and 1960s, and on their connections within the organized crime network, I estimate network effects on gangsters’ economic status. Lacking information on criminal proceeds, I measure economic status exploiting detailed information about their place of residence. Housing values are reconstructed using current deflated transactions recorded on Zillow.com. I deal with the potential reverse causality between the economic status and the gangster’s position in the network exploiting exogenous exposure to potential pre-immigration connections. In the absence of pre-immigration data I use the informational content of surnames, called isonomy, to measure the place of origin. The instrument is valid as long as conditional on the characteristics of the gangsters (including the region of birth and a rich set of controls about the gangsters’ legal and illegal activities) such exposure influences the gangsters’ importance in- side the network (called centrality) but not the preference for specific housing needs. A standard deviation increase in closeness centrality increases economic status by between one forth (OLS) and one standard deviation (2SLS).
Keywords: mafia, networks, centrality, housing prices, value of connections, crime, surnames, isonomy
JEL: A14 C21 D23 D85 K42 Z13
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Steven D Levitt (史帝芬‧雷維)

*引自 Wikipedia

Steven D Levitt (史帝芬‧雷維) (born May 29, 1967) is an American economist known for his work in the field of crime, in particular on the link between legalized abortion and crime rates. Winner of the 2004 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was co-editor of the Journal of Political Economy published by the University of Chicago Press until December 2007. He co-authored the best-selling book Freakonomics (2005) and its sequel Superfreakonomics (2009). He is a grand-nephew of Robert L. May, the lyricist of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In 2009, Levitt co-founded The Greatest Good, a business and philanthropy consulting company. He was chosen as one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.[1]