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In the shadow illegal markets and economic sociology


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  • Beckert, Jens
  • Wehinger, Frank


Illegal markets differ from legal markets in many respects. Although illegal markets have economic significance and are of theoretical importance, they have been largely ignored by economic sociology. In this article we propose a categorization for illegal markets and highlight reasons why certain markets are outlawed. We perform a comprehensive review of the literature to characterize illegal markets along the three coordination problems of value creation, competition, and cooperation. The article concludes by appealing to economic sociology to strengthen research on illegal markets and by suggesting areas for future empirical research. -- Illegale Märkte unterscheiden sich in vielerlei Hinsicht von legalen Märkten. Trotz ihres großen wirtschaftlichen Gewichts und ihrer theoretischen Bedeutung blieben sie in der Wirtschaftssoziologie bislang weitgehend unbeachtet. Dieses Papier schlägt eine Kategorisierung illegaler Märkte vor und diskutiert die Gründe für ihr Verbot. Auf der Grundlage einer umfassenden Literaturauswertung werden die Strukturmerkmale illegaler Märkte anhand der drei Koordinierungsprobleme der Wertbildung, des Wettbewerbs und der Kooperation dargestellt. Das Papier schließt mit Empfehlungen für zukünftige empirische Forschung.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 11/9.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:119

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  1. Henry Saffer & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1999. "Demographic Differentials in the Demand for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: An Integration of Econometrics and Behavioral Economic Research, pages 187-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Satz, Debra, 2010. "Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195311594.
  4. Alvin E. Roth, 2006. "Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets," NBER Working Papers 12702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Foreign Counterfeiting of Status Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 79-100, February.
  6. Beckert, Jens & Aspers, Patrik (ed.), 2011. "The Worth of Goods: Valuation and Pricing in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199594658.
  7. Robert MacCoun & Peter Reuter & Thomas Schelling, 1996. "Assessing alternative drug control regimes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 330-352.
  8. Beckert, Jens, 2005. "Trust and the Performative Construction of Markets," MPIfG Discussion Paper 05/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  9. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  10. Mendoza, Roger Lee, 2010. "Kidney black markets and legal transplants: Are they opposite sides of the same coin?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 255-265, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Dewey, Matías, 2014. "Crisis and the emergence of illicit markets: A pragmatist view on economic action outside the law," MPIfG Discussion Paper 14/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.


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