Faculty Advisor

Pavlov, Oleg V.


Organized crime organizations arise to satisfy a demand for necessary social services in the absence of effective government institutions. This project examines the rise of the Sicilian mafia. Using system dynamics, I model this system and test various policies to determine what factors have the greatest impact on mafia power. Based on these experiments, the most effective policies for reducing mafia power are those that decrease the demand for private protection services by reducing the threat of banditry in society, and not those policies that act directly against the mafia. I also examine historical examples of other mafia-type organizations to show that these trends apply not just to Sicily, but also to other societies, including present-day Iraq and Afghanistan.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2009

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies