Diego Gambetta - Research

Further information about research projects, publications and teaching.

See Academic Profile page.


More hedgehog than fox - A self-presentation exploring the common thread in the study of criminals, taxi drivers and suicide bombers

Dissertation topics - a list of various topics which I believe have the potential to be the object of a doctoral dissertation, and which I may consider for supervision, in special cases for collaborative research

Empirical puzzles for teaching and research - a list of questions about social behaviours that defy the expectations of common sense or the predictions of some theory

Free to download: Trust. Making and breaking cooperative relations

Papers and Publications


2016 Engineers of Jihad. The curious connection between education and violent extremism. Princeton University Press, forthcoming in February (with Steffen Hertog) 

2009 Codes of the underworld. How criminals communicate. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Other editions:

2011, 狄亚哥·甘贝塔,解码黑社会,北京:华夏出版社 (Decoding Triad), Beijing: Huaxia Publishing House, Chinese edition

2011, Коды криминального мира: Как общаются между собой преступники. Чебоксары: Издательство Перфектум, Cheboksary: Izdatelstvo Perfectum, Russian edition

2011 Paperback edition: Princeton University Press

2014 La Pègre Déchiffrée – Signes et stratégies de la communication criminelle, Geneva: Markus Haller, French edition

2005 Streetwise. How taxi drivers establish customers’ trustworthiness. New York: Russell Sage Foundation (with Heather Hamill)

1993 The Sicilian mafia. The business of private protection. Harvard University Press

Other editions:

1992, 1994, Italian editions: Torino: Einaud

1994 German edition: Munich: DTV

1994 Paperback edition, Harvard University Press

1994 Spanish edition: Fondo de Cultura Econòmica

1995 Polish Edition: Oficyna Naukowa 

1987 Were they pushed or did they jump? Individual decision mechanisms in education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Other editions:

1990 Italian edition: Bologna: Il Mulino

1996 American Paperback edition, Denver: Westview Press

2009 Cambridge University Press paperback edition

Edited books

2005 Making sense of suicide missions. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Other editions:

2006 Paperback edition

2009 Spanish edition: Fondo de Cultura Econòmica

1988 Trust. Making and breaking cooperative relations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell

Other editions:

1989a Italian edition: Le strategie della fiducia. Torino: Einaudi

Journal Articles

2015 "Amoral Familism, Social Capital, or Trust? The Behavioural Foundations of the Italian North-South Divide”. The Economic Journal, forthcoming. (With Maria Bigoni, Stefania Bortolotti, Marco Casari, and Francesca Pancotto)

2014 “Signs and (counter)signals of trustworthiness”. Journal of economic behavior and organisation, 2014, Vol. 106, pp. 281-297 (with Aron Szekely)

2014 “Natural and strategic generosity as a signal of trustworthiness”. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97533. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097533 (With Wojtel Przepiorka)

2014 “Thick as thieves: homophily and trust among deviants”, Rationality & Society, 26 (1), 3-45 (with Jennifer Flashman)

2013 “It takes two to cheat: an experiment on derived trust”, European Economic Review, vol. 64, November, pp. 129-146 (with Maria Bigoni, Stefania Bortolotti, Marco Casari)

2013 “The LL-game. The curious preference for low quality and its norms”, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, (with Gloria Origgi), Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 3-23

2013 “Do strong family ties inhibit trust?”, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, 75, 3, 365-376 (with John Ermisch)

2013 “Measuring People’s Trust”, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 172 (2009), part 4, 749-769 (with John Ermisch et al.)

Chapters in books

2009 “Signaling”, in P. Hedström and P. Bearman (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 168-194

2006 “Epilogue to the paperback edition”. In Gambetta (ed.), Making sense of suicide missions, paperback edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 301-333

2005 “Can we make sense of suicide missions?” In Gambetta (ed.), Making sense of suicide missions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 259-299

2005 “Deceptive mimicry in humans”. In S. Hurley and N. Chater (eds.), Perspective on Imitation: From Cognitive Neuroscience to Social Science, Cambridge: MIT Press, vol II, pp. 221-241

2002“Corruption: An Analytical Map”. In S. Kotkin and A. Sajo (eds.), Political Corruption of Transition: A Sceptic’s Handbook, Budapest: Central European University Press, pp. 33-56

2004 Reprinted in W. Jordan and E. Kreike (eds.), Corrupt histories. University of Rochester Press, pp.3-28

2001 “Trust as type identification”. In C. Castelfranchi and Yao-Hua Tan, Trust and Deception in Virtual Societies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Publishers, pp. 1-26 (with Michael Bacharach)

2001 “Trust in signs”. In K. Cook (ed.) Trust and Society, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp.148-184 (with Michael Bacharach)

1998 “Claro!’ An essay on discursive machismo”. In J.Elster (ed.), Deliberative Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 19-43

2001 Spanish translation, in J.Elster (ed.) Democracia Deliberativa. Barcelona: Editorial Gedisa

1998 “Concatenations of mechanisms”. In P.Hedstrοm and R. Swedberg (eds.), Social mechanisms. An analytical approach to social theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 102-

Doctoral Students

Former: Yiu Chu Kong, Federico Varese, Heather Hamill, Teela Sanders, Declan Hill, Marina Tzvetkova, Mark Starbuck, Pavan Mamidi, Aron Szekely