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Organized Crime Networks: an Application of Network Analysis Techniques to the American Mafia

Giovanni Mastrobuoni () and Eleonora Patacchini

Review of Network Economics, 2012, vol. 11, issue 3, 1-43

Abstract: Using a unique data set on criminal profiles of 800 US Mafia members active in the 1950s and 1960s and on their connections within the Cosa Nostra network, we use simple network analysis techniques to document the structure and composition of the geometry of criminal ties between mobsters. The use of different network centrality measures allows us to collect evidence in line with so far only conjectured views on the functioning of the Mafia. In particular, we shed light on the extent to which family relationships, community roots and ties, legal and illegal activities predict the criminal ranking of the “men of honor,” suggesting the main characteristics that can be used to detect criminal leaders. Our results are remarkably in line with the evidence that mafia organizations tend to be extremely hierarchical.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1515/1446-9022.1324

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