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La demanda de productos ilegales. Elementos para explicar los intercambios ilegales desde la perspectiva de la sociología económica

Matías Dewey


¿Cómo puede explicarse la expansión, estabilidad o contracción de los intercambios ilegales a través del tiempo y el espacio? Las respuestas a esta pregunta suelen recurrir al concepto de crimen organizado, es decir, al lado de la oferta, así como a los precios concebidos como predictores del tamaño del mercado. En ambos casos, la demanda suele dejarse de lado y eso sucede por dos motivos. En primer lugar, el concepto de “mercado ilegal” se emplea como sinónimo de crimen organizado o como categoría derivada de la actividad económica de las organizaciones criminales. En segundo lugar, se confunde la legalidad formal con la legitimidad social. Basado en literatura actual en el campo de la sociología económica, el presente artículo propone a la demanda como componente decisivo para explicar la pregunta planteada. Se argumenta que tres dimensiones son relevantes para capturar la expansión, estabilidad o contracción de los intercambios ilegales: la legitimidad social de los productos, la presencia de instituciones informales y las ideas sobre el futuro vinculadas a los intercambios ilegales.

Palabras clave

sociología económica; mercados ilegales; demanda; crimen organizado; instituciones informales; legitimidad


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