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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 2017.
Dewey, Matías, 2012: Illegal Police Protection and the Market for Stolen Vehicles in Buenos Aires. In: Journal of Latin American Studies 44(4), 679-702.
Dewey, Matías, 2014: Taxing the Shadow: The Political Economy of Sweatshops in La Salada, Argentina. MPIfG Discussion Paper 14/18. Cologne: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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