WiP seminar: Alessio Carrozzo Magli

Title: "Vote for Assets: on the relationship between electoral support and asset confiscation in Sicilian municipalities" (with Giovanni Righetto)

  • Date: 08 June 2023 from 13:00 to 14:00

  • Event location: Seminar Room - Piazza Scaravilli, 2 + Microsoft Teams Meeting


This study investigates the relationship between electoral support for Berlusconi's party, Forza Italia, and the intensity of asset confiscation from mafia during the Italian second republic (1994 onward). Building upon a probabilistic voting model that posits a reciprocal influence between anti-mafia policies chosen by political parties and mafia's electoral preferences, we explore the hypothesis that a colluded party can repay its "electoral debt" to the mafia only if it wins elections by reducing the intensity of anti-mafia policy when in charge.

We test our theoretical predictions by looking at the relationship between votes for Forza Italia and asset confiscations across Sicilian municipalities in the last 30 years. By instrumenting the vote share with the intensity of the Mediaset TV signal, we find intriguing patterns that suggest a decrease in confiscations in municipalities with higher electoral support for Forza Italia. These findings raise important questions about the interplay between political factors, organized crime, and the effectiveness of anti-mafia measures.