Featuring the author David Skarbek, Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, King’s College London; with comments by Philip E. Keefer, Principal Economic Advisor, Institutions for Development, Inter-American Development Bank; and Adam Bates, Policy Analyst, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute; moderated by Dalibor Rohac, Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.
event has been canceled due to inclement weather.
Far from being just chaotic bands of thugs, prison gangs are
sophisticated organizations, oftentimes with detailed
constitutions, which adjudicate disputes, oversee markets within
prisons, and facilitate the bargaining between inmates and
correctional officers. In his book, David Skarbek uses economics to
understand the mechanisms that enable these organizations to
operate and their political and cultural dynamics, including the
role of secret symbols, tattoos, and violence. Besides a disturbing
analysis of the criminal justice system that has given rise to
prison gangs as a significant social phenomenon, the book offers
insights into the emergence of social organization under adverse
conditions, with implications for development economists and
practitioners interested in failed states and institutionally weak