Informations and abstract
The article shows the main results of a research that analyzes the relations between the mafia and the local economies. The study is focused on the "traditional" mafia groups (Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta and Camorra), and on the territories of their historical settlement. The research carries out some case studies concerning different sectors of activity (construction, renewable energy, retail trade, transportations, health, waste materials). The attention is focused on the social capital of the mafia, adopting a neo-institutionalist approach. In this way we analyze the functioning of the so called "grey area": the opaque space between the legal and the illegal sphere, where relationships take form of collusion and complicity with the mafia. In this area there are several actors with heterogeneous roles and interests, like politicians, businessmen, professionals, civil servants and so on. The mafia does not always and necessarily occupy a dominant position, but among the different actors it establishes mutually beneficial exchanges. These agreements, based on positive-sum games, give rise to various forms of alliance and networks of relationships, causing distortions in the functioning of the markets, which hinder the economic development processes.