The Underground Economy

Course Code: ECON 2001

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit product? Are you aware that the underground economy represents an estimated ten percent of GDP in Canada and the U.S. and over fifty percent in many less developed countries? How can illegal trade and exchange be so hidden yet employ an estimated 1.8 billion people globally? Transnational criminal activities such as the illegal trade of arms, gold, drugs, money, products, information, and people are among the least understood aspects of globalization, and they contribute to growing tensions and conflict in domestic and world politics. This course will introduce students to the underground economy and illegal finance with a view to understanding their impact on and cost to the legitimate, law-governed economy. Students will also have the opportunity to understand both successful and unsuccessful strategies for restricting this activity as well as examining why political actors (like states and police forces) are more motivated to tackle some parts of the underground economy than others. Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce, Lower Level Restrictions: None