November 12th, 2010
In America in the 1920s, during the years of prohibition, bootlegging became a pervasive and widespread problem. Bootlegging, named after the practice of concealing illicit liquor in boot tops, was the illegal traffic in liquor in violation of restrictions on sale and transportation of alcohol. As with drugs, human trafficking, or endangered species, when a government restricts the supply of a good with a demand, a black market emerges. Though there was a generous domestic supply—underground distilleries often made liquor out of corn and of course there was “medical” whiskey prescribed by doctors—many Americans got liquor from...
October 27th, 2010
When it comes to illegal, transboundary smuggling, the study of illicit financial flows generally focuses on problems that are on a massive scale worldwide, for example the illegal drug trade, smuggling of precious metals and gems, and human trafficking. On these subjects, there is a wealth of literature and organizations devoted to understanding and eradicating their damaging effects on development. There are other types of illicit cross-boarder movements of goods, however, which are not discussed as widely, but which may be just as harmful to development.
One example is illegal logging, a practice which strips developing countries of a...