CLEAN Seminar - Gianni Marciante (University of Bologna)


The next CLEAN seminar will take place on Friday 10 November in person at 4.30pm Italian time.

The presenter will be Gianni Marciante (University of Bologna). The title of the paper is: "When Nation Building Goes South: Draft Evasion, Government Repression, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia".



Can coercive nation building foster organised crime? I provide evidence on this question by showing how a coercive nation-building policy -- conscription -- contributed to the emergence of the Sicilian mafia in the 19th century. This policy generated widespread demand for private protection in Sicilian society, especially after a government-led repression campaign run in 1863 to curb large-scale draft evasion on the island. Using a novel dataset on episodes of government repression and historical mafia presence, I find that the Sicilian mafia was more likely to develop in towns victimised by the repression campaign. To infer causality, I use an instrumental variables approach based on a network of least-cost paths connecting garrison towns that were visited by the army during the 1863 expedition. I find suggestive evidence that increasing distrust in government in repressed towns helps account for the early spread of the Sicilian mafia. 


The seminar will take place in room Alberto Alesina Seminar Room 5.e4.sr04, Via Röntgen 1.
You may follow the event online via Zoom Meetings at the following link:
Seminar Gianni Marciante - Meeting ID: 946 9306 3897