MAE266 - Black Market Economics: Exploring the Underworld of Illicit Trade

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Ching-Jen Sun
Cohort rule:

For Business & Law students or for students in Bachelor of Criminology (including combined Criminology awards) or students undertaking the Criminology major in A310.





Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1 hour on-campus lecture (recordings provided) each week and 1 x 1 hour on-campus seminar (recordings provided) each week  

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1 x 1 hour recorded lecture each week and 1 x 1 hour online seminar each week


Black Market Economics is an interdisciplinary unit that examines the economic principles that underpin the growth and ongoing development of black markets. Students will apply foundational economic concepts, such as supply and demand, cost structures, vertical supply chains and game theory to a range of black markets, including those for counterfeit goods, sex trafficking, and illicit drugs traded both via conventional trafficking routes and on the dark web. The unit concludes with a focus on the ways in which black markets and associated harms can be addressed by governments, from conventional law enforcement approaches and prohibition, through to decriminalisation and legalisation.   

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Explain the evolution and operation of various black markets. 

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO4: Critical thinking 


Analyse black markets using foundational economic concepts. 

GLO1:  Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking 


Synthesize interdisciplinary knowledge and employ empirical research techniques to formulate evidence-driven policy recommendations addressing illicit markets and their related challenges. 

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO3:  Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Market Report  1500 words 40% Week 6
Assessment 2: Policy Brief  2500 words 60% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: MAE266 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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