An approach based on network theory reveals the pattern of links between Mafia-controlled firms involved in organized crime and the rest of the economy.
Network theory has revolutionized the understanding of economics in recent years. No longer is the economy a mysterious heaving mass governed by arcane laws with little practical evidence to support them.
Instead, the economy is a network of firms that are linked if a financial transaction occurs between them. This approach has given economists a unique insight into the way that different parts of the economy depend on each other and how money, resources and information flows through the business world.
But here’s an interesting question: how does organized crime that into all this? Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Stefano Gurciullo at University College London. Gurciullo has studied the economic networks of businesses in a region of Sicily, Italy, highlighting the roles of firms known to be associated with the local Mafia.