By Anna Laura Baraldi, Giovanni Immordino, Marco Stimolo

« Using data on mayoral candidates and elected mayors in Italian municipalities, this paper seeks to unveil the mechanism underlying the evidence that the infiltration of organized crime lowers politicians’ quality. We exploit the dissolution of city governments for presumed mafia infiltration as an exogenous shock to the presence of organized crime in local politics. Our results indicate that the active presence of organized crime does not discourage highly qualified candidates from running but does induce citizens to vote for less qualified ones. »

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