Definition of black market
: illicit trade in goods or commodities in violation of official regulations; also : a place where such trade is carried on
Examples of black market in a Sentence
The black market in prescription drugs is thriving.
They unloaded the stolen goods on the black market.
First Known Use of black market
Financial Definition of BLACK MARKET
What It Is
A black market is the illegal purchase and sale of goods and services.
How It Works
Drug dealing is one of the most prominent black markets in the United States. In this black market, people buy and sell drugs knowing that such activity is usually illegal and that possessing the products themselves is usually illegal. Regardless, the demand for drugs is high enough to trump the law, though people usually attempt to conceal their participation.
Many black markets exist beyond drugs, however, and though the products or services may be legal, the manner in which they are bought and sold may be illegal. For example, it is legal to have a cleaning lady, but it is illegal to hire a cleaning lady who is not in the United States legally.
Because regulatory constraints may increase the price of some goods and services, in some cases regulation can actually prompt the development of black markets. This was particularly the case in the early 1900s, when the United States outlawed alcohol, which created a massive black market for the production, transportation and sale of liquor.
Why It Matters
The presence of black markets all over the world is evidence that the laws of supply and demand are virtually impossible to defy. When regulation or taxation becomes too high, when supply and demand are way out of balance, or when competition has been too restricted, people will always look for a way to get goods or services cheaper, faster or more easily.
BLACK MARKET Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of black market for English Language Learners
: a system through which things are bought and sold illegally
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