Citrus boom led to mafia

Citrus boom led to mafia research highlights AGROECONOMICS J. Econ. Hist. http://doi.org/gcps7p (2017) lemons had been grown on the island of Sicily for centuries, but without significant export activity until British naval officer James Lind confirmed that citrus fruits could prevent and cure scurvy. The resulting and overwhelming demand for lemons, with barrel exports increasing from 1,300 to over 20,000 in just a 25-year period, created an exogenous shock in market prices that transformed citrus production in Sicily. Citrus trees, however, were far more prone to predation and theft than other Sicilian crops such as wheat or grapes, and profits from lemons could be almost 35 times greater Credit: Alex Ramsay / Alamy Stock Photo than those for olives. These conditions, on top of historical factors such as weak Despite a century of research on the central government and law enforcement in role and scope of the Sicilian Mafia, the the region, are linked to the emergence of conditions that led to its creation have mafia activity in the late 1800s. A regression remained clouded. Economic analysis of analysis of the 1886 inquiry data, verified lemon exports and mafia activity in the with data from other key studies, found 1800s now suggests that the mafioso arose that citrus fruit production, alone among to protect and even act as intermediaries on the major export products of Sicily, was behalf of citrus producers in the wake of an statistically significant for the rise of the unprecedented economic boom for lemons. mafia in towns and regions across the island. Arcangelo Dimico, at Queen’s University Belfast, and colleagues utilized primary data Ryan Scarrow from a comprehensive 1886 inquiry into the economic and social forces in Sicilian Published online: 22 January 2018 towns and districts. Citrus fruits such as https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0107-z NAtuRE PlANt S | VOL 4 | FEBRUARY 2018 | 59 | www.nature.com/natureplants © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Plants Springer Journals

Citrus boom led to mafia

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Nature Publishing Group UK
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by The Author(s)
Subject
Life Sciences; Life Sciences, general; Plant Sciences
eISSN
2055-0278
D.O.I.
10.1038/s41477-018-0107-z
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Abstract

research highlights AGROECONOMICS J. Econ. Hist. http://doi.org/gcps7p (2017) lemons had been grown on the island of Sicily for centuries, but without significant export activity until British naval officer James Lind confirmed that citrus fruits could prevent and cure scurvy. The resulting and overwhelming demand for lemons, with barrel exports increasing from 1,300 to over 20,000 in just a 25-year period, created an exogenous shock in market prices that transformed citrus production in Sicily. Citrus trees, however, were far more prone to predation and theft than other Sicilian crops such as wheat or grapes, and profits from lemons could be almost 35 times greater Credit: Alex Ramsay / Alamy Stock Photo than those for olives. These conditions, on top of historical factors such as weak Despite a century of research on the central government and law enforcement in role and scope of the Sicilian Mafia, the the region, are linked to the emergence of conditions that led to its creation have mafia activity in the late 1800s. A regression remained clouded. Economic analysis of analysis of the 1886 inquiry data, verified lemon exports and mafia activity in the with data from other key studies, found 1800s now suggests that the mafioso arose that citrus fruit production, alone among to protect and even act as intermediaries on the major export products of Sicily, was behalf of citrus producers in the wake of an statistically significant for the rise of the unprecedented economic boom for lemons. mafia in towns and regions across the island. Arcangelo Dimico, at Queen’s University Belfast, and colleagues utilized primary data Ryan Scarrow from a comprehensive 1886 inquiry into the economic and social forces in Sicilian Published online: 22 January 2018 towns and districts. Citrus fruits such as https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0107-z NAtuRE PlANt S | VOL 4 | FEBRUARY 2018 | 59 | www.nature.com/natureplants © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

Journal

Nature PlantsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 22, 2018

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