black market

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black market,

the selling or buying of commodities at prices above the legal ceiling or beyond the amount allotted to a customer in countries that have placed restrictions on sales and prices. Such trading was common during World War II wherever the demand and the means of payment exceeded the available supply. Most of the warring countries attempted to equalize distribution of scarce commodities by rationing and price fixing. In the United States black-market transactions were carried on extensively in meat, sugar, tires, and gasoline. In Great Britain, where clothing and liquor were rationed, these were popular black-market commodities. In the United States, rationing terminated at the end of the war, but a black market in automobiles and building materials continued while the scarcity lasted. In the decades following World War II, as the countries of Eastern Europe were trying to industrialize their economies, extensive black-market operations developed because of a scarcity of consumer goods. Black marketing is also common in exchange of foreign for domestic currency, typically in those countries that have set the official exchange value of domestic currency too high in terms of the purchasing power of foreign money. Black-market money activities also grow when holders of domestic currency are anxious to convert it into foreign currency through a fear that the former is losing its purchasing power as a result of inflation. See also bootleggingbootlegging,
in the United States, the illegal distribution or production of liquor and other highly taxed goods. First practiced when liquor taxes were high, bootlegging was instrumental in defeating early attempts to regulate the liquor business by taxation.
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See W. Rundell, Black Market Money (1964).

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black market

a. any system in which goods or currencies are sold and bought illegally, esp in violation of controls or rationing
b. (as modifier): black market lamb
2. the place where such a system operates
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Schneider and Enste [31], Nigeria and Egypt had the largest underground economies, equivalent to 77% and 69% of GDP, respectively, for the period 1998-1999; South Africa, by contrast, had an underground economy of about 11 percent of GDP.
The assumption of the same velocity of money for both official and underground economies has been criticized.
Bajada adds chapters on efforts to suppress underground economies in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Feige, The Underground Economies: Tax Evasion and Information Distortion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).
Feige and Katarina Ott, eds., Underground Economies in Transition: Unrecorded Activity, Tax Evasion, Corruption and Organized Crime (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1999) p.
For example, in a recent essay, Professor Feige, the most prominent scholar of the underground economy, explains the "conceptual linkage among underground economies" as comprising two elements: concealment and immorality.
In an age in which all of the world's great socialist economies have fallen and are moving toward capitalism (however falteringly), it is less clear than before whether the broader public interest is better served by that form of planning that the underground economies evade or by the productive activities of the underground economies themselves.
This evidence, too, compels a reevaluation of the role of underground economies in otherwise broadly capitalistic societies.
Although this Essay describes some of the social and political contributions of underground economic activity, it does not claim that all features of underground economies are socially beneficial or congruent with democratic values.
Again, it cannot be claimed that all underground activities are morally justifiable and, no doubt, many will dispute the morality of particular types of underground activities, but the Essay will attempt to show that the broader condemnation of underground economies, however conventional, is highly problematic and cannot be defended.
"Underground economies in transition: noncompliance and institutional change".

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