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Legal and Illegal Economies

The linkages between legal and illegal economies are often not acknowledged in scholarly and policy discourse. One possible explanation for this oversight is that the label illegal presents unregulated economic activities as immoral, parasitic, and alien to legitimate society. However, legal and illegal economies all conform to free-market economic dictates and are therefore driven by the forces of supply and demand. Although illegal economic activities may be difficult to detect and control, illegal economies are thought to constitute a significant portion of the national economies of most countries, ranging from about 8 to 30 percent of the economies of developed countries and about 13 to 76 percent of the economies of developing countries; in the transition countries, the proportion of illegal economies is about 7 ...

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