Definitions of Black Market
- (noun) The illegal market for goods and services that are price regulated, rationed, or restricted.
- (noun) The location where illegal buying and selling occurs.
Examples of Black Market
- Definition 1:
- Poaching and selling elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns.
- Selling a good that is rationed during wartime.
- Selling illegal drugs.
- Definition 2:
Black Market Pronunciation
Syllabification: black mar·ket
- American English – /blAk mAHR-kuht/
- British English – /blAk mAHk-it/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /blæk ˈmɑrkət/
- British English – /blæk ˈmɑːkɪt/
- Plural: black markets
- Common goods or services sold on the black market include:
- drugs – legal or illegal
- endangered or exotic animals
- entertainment (e.g., books, movies, TV shows)
- human organs
- weapons (arms trafficking)
- The black market is a vast part of the overall economy and part of the underground economy.
- A black market emerges when laws and regulations prohibit the sale of certain goods and services; prices are controlled; goods and services are sold but untaxed; or during a specific times such as famine or war. By definition, a black market can only exists when a government controls prices or applies taxes, prohibits certain goods or services, or rationing is in place.
- A black market often sells goods and services that are not illegal but that are sold illegally. For example bootlegging is when alcohol is produced and sold without paying taxes on the sale. Additionally, selling your own labor but not reporting the income on your taxes is part of the black market. This is called a parallel market or parallel economy.
- A black market focused on human tissues such as blood, bones, and organs is called a red market.
- Variant spellings:
- Economic Sociology Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “black market” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Carney, Scott M. 2011. The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers. New York: William Morrow.
- Gilman, Nils, Jesse Goldhammer, and Steve Weber, eds. 2011. Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century. New York: Continuum.
- Graham, Toby, Evan Bell, and Nicholas Elliott. 2003. Money Laundering. London: Butterworths LexisNexis.
- Masciandaro, Donato, Brigitte Unger, and Elöd Takáts. 2007. Black Finance: The Economics of Money Laundering. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.
- allocation of resources
- market economy
- market exchange
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Cite the Definition of Black Market
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2018. “black market.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/black-market/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
black market. (2018). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/black-market/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2018. “black market.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/black-market/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“black market.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2018. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/black-market/>.