The Economics of Organized Crime

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The Economics of Organized Crime

Edited by: Gianluca Fiorentini and Sam Peltzman

Centre for Economic Policy and Research

Cambridge University Press

The reviewer must first state that this book is both fascinating and difficult. The premise that organized crime families follow economic rules was an intriguing hypothesis and irresistible to the reviewer – this followed by the implied ability to model and describe them was too much for the reviewer to resist. It is a masterfully assembled work and should be read by anyone who would come in contact with organized crime or the effects of organized crime. The readers should include law enforcement, insurance, banking, and government officials at a minimum, plus any economists who thinks they know how real business models work will have their eyes torn open by the premise and conclusions reached by this book. The authors – they were many – included sections on: Origin of Criminal Organizations, Criminal Organizations as a Firm, Organized Crime and State Intervention in the Economy, Deterrence Policies Against Illegal Firms and Deterrence Policies Against Organized Crime.

Two warnings: First, this book is not for the casual reader, the information is too important to be treated as trivial. Second, the equations are there for the economists and those wishing to construct their own models. If you don’t like the equations just read around the math: The message will still come through loud and clear.

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