Black Market – Financial Crimes Committed for Personal Purposes

Main Article Content

Jan Miłosz

Abstract

In socialist Poland, in the reality of centrally planned economy, average citizens experienced chronic deficits of basic commodities. Although the intensity of the problem varied, at no time could one say that the official market fully satisfied the demand for basic or luxurious goods sought by citizens. On the one hand, the market was steered manually, prices were set and kept on the same level for many years, and the volume of production and its cost was centrally planned, but on the other hand, salaries in national companies were raised, which resulted in unsatisfied demand for the goods that the official market lacked. How, then, did average citizens deal with these problems? How, by committing more or less serious financial crimes, did they become players in the black market game, the stake of which was satisfying their own needs? This article attempts at describing the situation in this specific market in various periods of socialist Poland. It also tries to demonstrate which products were the most desirable and most often sold in the black market. Most citizens of socialist Poland, knowing that their behavior is against the law, limited their participation in the black market to purchasing or selling the most urgently needed products.

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How to Cite
Miłosz, J. (2017). Black Market – Financial Crimes Committed for Personal Purposes. Studia Historiae Oeconomicae, 34, 45-62. https://doi.org/10.2478/sho-2016-0004
Section
Articles
Author Biography

Jan Miłosz, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Jan Miłosz – PhD, senior lecturer at the Economic History Department at the AMU History Institute in Poznan. His academic interests include local government, communal economy of the Polish Republic of People and economic and trade councils in the period of political transformation of 1989 and the first decade of 21st century.

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