Fully-funded PhD Scholarship - The Long-term Impact of Criminal Organizations on Institutions and Socio-economic Development

Department of Economics

Strathclyde Business School

The Long-term Impact of Criminal Organizations on Institutions and Socio-economic Development: The Case of the Sicilian Mafia


This scholarship will support the work of a PhD student on the long-term consequences of organized crime on formal institutions and its impact on the economy and social fabric. In particular this project will assess the impact of the mafia on institutional development, i.e. the ability of municipality and state authorities to deliver basic services and local public goods to the population.

Given the relevance of institutions in shaping the socio-economic development of a society, this project will increase the understanding of the impact that organised crime has on the society and the economy (Acemoglu et al. 2001, 2002, 2012, 2013; Acemoglu and Robinson 2006, 2012; De Feo and De Luca 2017). It will also analyse whether institutional changes that characterized the last 30 years of Italian and Sicilian history had a differentiated effect in mafia-ridden areas (e.g., decentralisation, boundary changes in electoral constituencies, and changes in electoral systems.). The project will be mainly based on empirical research with data collection on the political system, banking system, and public spending.


Candidates are required to have:

- An excellent undergraduate degree with Honours in a relevant business, scientific/technological or social science subject. Students may also have other relevant experience or skills which are relevant to this project
- A Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred
- Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence for their English skills (such as by IELTS or similar tests that are approved by UKVI, or a degree completed in an English speaking country)

Study information

Start month:

1 October 2017

Funding information

Funding applies to:
Open to applicants from a range of countries
Funding notes:

Stipend: £14,652 pa. Whilst open to International candidates, please note that this scholarship covers Home/EU/RUK Fee rate only.

Contacts and how to apply

Academic contact:

Enquiries to Dr Giuseppe De Feo, Department of Economics, email: giuseppe.defeo@strath.ac.uk

Administrative contact and how to apply:

To apply, please visit our website

Application deadline:

28 February 2017

Department Profile