Odd Lots: Stay in School, Even if You're Planning to Join the Mob

What the mafia can teach us about the economics of education.
Source: Paramoutn Pictures

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Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics.

This is the second episode in Odd Lots'  exploration of money, markets and crime.

It's a truism that better-educated people earn more money. But suppose you're not interested in a normal job? What if you want to go into the mafia?

On this week's Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Giovanni Mastrobuoni about the relationship between salary and educational attainment in organized crime. He's the co-author of a paper titled "Returns to Education in Criminal Organizations: Did Going to College Help Michael Corleone?" Based on data sets from the first half of the 20th century, Mastrobuoni and his colleagues were able to show that mafia members who got more education also got paid more in the underworld. We discuss how they discovered this, and what it means for the economics of education.


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