Crisis as Opportunity: Illegal Markets under Crisis Conditions
Markets are continuously emerging and disappearing. This is especially observable in the case of illegal markets, where the conditions that enable exchange are much more contingent. In this sense, hyperinflation or post-war depression could be observed as phenomena of socio-economic instability that facilitate the emergence of illegal markets, or that change the structure of the existing ones. The current research project aims to shed light on the interaction of illegal markets with situations characterized by a sudden loss of purchasing power or the expectancy of that loss. In other words, our purpose is to make a contribution to the study of the mechanisms that promote the exchange of illegal goods in a context of economic crisis. In the first phase of the project, we will analyze the late 1980s hyperinflation crisis and the 2001 economic crisis in Argentina in relation to the behavior of illegal markets, such as the markets for cocaine and stolen auto-parts. Since the research’s design is comparative, other cases will also be included later. Project duration: October 2011 to December 2014.