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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Crisis as Opportunity: Illegal Markets under Crisis Conditions

Matías Dewey

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 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. It thus seeks to contribute to the study of the mechanisms that promote the exchange of illegal goods in a context of economic crisis. After a first phase of project design and fieldwork, the project analyzes the rise of the market for counterfeit clothing in the context of the 1980s hyperinflation and the 2001 economic crisis in Argentina. The project centers on the market known as La Salada. Project duration: October 2011 to December 2019.
Beckert, Jens, and Matías Dewey (eds.). 2017. The Architecture of Illegal Markets: Towards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dewey, Matías, Daniel Pedro Míguez, and Marcelo Fabián Saín. 2017. "The Strength of Collusion: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Hybrid Social Orders." Current Sociology 65 (3): 395–410.
Dewey, Matías, 2018. "Domestic Obstacles to Labor Standards: Law Enforcement and Informal Institutions in Argentina’s Garment Industry." Socio-Economic Review 16 (3): 567–586.
Dewey, Matías, 2018. "The Other Taxation: An Ethnographic Account of 'Off-the-Books' State Financing." Latin American Research Review, 53 (4): 726–740>>more
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