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Research guide to ressources in economics.

About ECON 316 Guide

What is the Underground Economy Барыга "чёрного рынка" на граффити на бетонном заборе. Харьков, Харьковская набережная (лев. берег).

The Underground Economy, also know as the Informal Economy or Shadow Economy, according to Investopedia can be defined as the following :  

  • The underground economy refers to illegal economic activity. Transactions in the underground economy are illegal either because the good or service being traded is itself illegal or because an otherwise licit transaction does not comply with government reporting requirements. The first category includes drugs and prostitution in most jurisdictions. The second includes untaxed labor and sales, as well as smuggling goods to avoid duties. The underground economy is also referred to as the shadow economy, black market (not gray market) and informal economy. Source: Investopedia

This research guide groups various resources that can help with finding information on obscure topics and underground topics in economics. 

Particularly useful for ECON 316 : The Underground Economy

  • Target : Economics Students
  • Professor : Thomas NAYLOR
  • Librarian : Michael David MILLER

Image Source
Wikimedia Commos

Not all information is available

Not all information is available

When doing research on topics that are underground or obscure, you should keep in mind the following : 

Partial map of the Internet, with nodes representing IP addresses

  • Your topics may not be well-documented and thus, little may have been published on your topics
  • You will have to QUESTION every piece of information that you find
  • You will have to look at many different types of sources, such as, but not limited to :
    • Don't forget to QUESTION every piece of information you are consulting.
    • News : Newspapers, News networks (Radio-Canada, France 24, etc.), News feeds, etc. 
    • Social media : Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. 
    • Blogs : Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. 
    • Video services : YouTube, Google Video, Vimeo, dailymotion, etc. 
  • Language skills : if you read in multiple languages, search in those languages

Supplementary tip : Ask yourself the following question when looking for a particular information : 

  • If I were in their position, would I want / allow for such an information to be published?

Image Source
Wikimedia Commons

Background information

Books for Background Information

News & Newspapers

News & Newspapers Sources

Search Tips : AND, OR, FileType: & Site:

Search Tips : AND, OR, FileType: & Site:

Example search string : 

  • ("la familia michoacana" OR "la familia michoacana" OR "la famille michoacana") AND (dinero OR argent OR money) AND (religion OR catholique OR catholic OR católico OR catolicismo OR Catholicism OR catholicisme) site:org AND FileType:pdf

Search operators of the search string :

  • Parentheses 
    • Helps visualize the order of the search (kind of like order of operations in algebra)
  • Quotation marks
    • Force the search engine to search for our keywords / ideas in that exact order
  • OR
    • Link synonyms or like concepts together 
  • AND
    • Links key / principal ideas together
  • FileType:pdf

Image Source
Prince George Community College Library

Advanced Google Searching

Advanced Google Searching Google Logo
  • Search within a specific website : 
    • [Insert keyword here] 
    • [Insert keyword here] 
    • [Insert keyword here] / site:gov
    • [Insert keyword here]
  • Search for a specific file type : 
    • [Insert keyword here] filetype:pdf 
    • [Insert keyword here] filetype:ppt 
    • [Insert keyword here] filetype:doc
  • Other advanced Google search techniques : 

Other materials at the McGill Library

Other materials @ the Library

Questions? Ask your librarian!

Need help conducting research?

The Liaison Librarian for Economics, can help you with:

  • Finding research resources in economics,
  • Utilizing databases in economics,
  • Creating effective search strategies,
  • Locating sources of data in economics, 
  • and much more, just ask! 

You can find me in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (HSSL). Please set up an appointment with me or visit me at the library for assistance. My contact information is to the left

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