An article at The Journal of Economic History traces the rise of the Mafia to the production of lemons and oranges in Sicily. While citrus fruits were always popular, their importance was boosted exponentially when they were revealed to be both a preventative and a cure for scurvy, which was a plague among long-distance sailors.
In this article, we argue that the mafia arose as a response to an exogenous shock in the demand for oranges…
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