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Strike One To Educate One Hundred: Organized Crime, Political Selection and Politicians’ Ability

Although much attention has been paid to the economic effects of crime, it can also affect the political process. In this paper, we show that criminal organizations may affect political (self-)selection by discouraging high-ability individuals from entering politics. Identification derives from murders of local politicians by criminal organizations, and indicates that such a negative shock to politicians’ expected payoffs induces a strong decrease in elected politicians’ human capital. The effect is not limited to the municipality in which a political murder takes place, but also extends to nearby municipalities.

Daniele, G., 2019. Strike one to educate one hundred: Organized crime, political selection and politicians’ ability. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 159, pp.650-662.