The bells of St Clement’s

Isn’t economic history fun?

In this article, we argue that the mafia arose as a response to an exogenous shock in the demand for oranges and lemons, following Lind’s discovery in the late eighteenth century that citrus fruits cured scurvy. More specifically, we claim that mafia appeared in locations where producers made high profits from citrus production for overseas export.

h/t Matt Levine, the thinking man’s guide to Wall Street.

 

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