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Mafias as Enforcers
  • James E. Anderson, Boston College
  • Oriana Bandiera, London School of Economics
Historical evidence suggests that Mafias originally formed to provide enforcement of legitimate property rights when state enforcement was weak. We provide a general equilibrium model of Mafias as enforcement coalitions which protect property from predators. Both the level of predation and the type of enforcement ³ self-enforcement, specialized competitive enforcement and Mafia enforcement ³ are endogenous. We identify the conditions under which a coalition emerges and persists and show that Mafias are most likely to be found at intermediate stages of economic development. We also show that Mafias might provide better enforcement to the rich than would a welfare-maximizing state, suggesting a difficulty in the emergence and persistence of state provision of enforcement.
  • mafias,
  • private enforcement,
  • WP480
Publication Date
October, 2000
Citation Information
James E. Anderson and Oriana Bandiera. "Mafias as Enforcers" (2000)
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