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Illicit Markets, Unobserved Competitors, and Illegal Behavior

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "FORENSICS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: SCHLOSS
postcode: 68161

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙212˙934 €
 EC max contribution 1˙212˙934 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET MANNHEIM DE (MANNHEIM) coordinator 1˙212˙934.00


 Project objective

Many markets are characterized by illicit or illegal behavior by agents. To the extent that the empirical economic framework does not incorporate these unobserved actions or control for them in estimation, the resulting models are likely to be mis-specified. Naturally, if the models do not contain all elements relevant for decision making, then predictions based on the estimates will be misleading, which could result in incorrect policy recommendations. This project directly addresses three situations in which unobserved behavior plays a crucial role. The first concerns markets where consumers engage in illicit behavior. These markets are prevalent in society as they constitute the market for illicit drugs, which is estimated at more than $300 billion per year (UN, 2012). The second concerns markets where firms make strategic decisions in the presence of an unidentified competitor - a counterfeiter, where the global value of counterfeit products rivals that of illegal drugs (OECD, 2007). The third concerns situations where firms use legal tools for illegal purposes, for which the impact is challenging to quantify and one goal of this project. In each area, the project (i) develops state-of-the-art empirical models that incorporate illicit behaviors, (ii) proposes novel estimation methods that can be used to detect illegal behavior, and (iii) provides evidence that the proposed methodology is feasible and the data are sufficient to estimate the models. Incorporating and estimating unobserved behavior in a variety of settings is an ambitious undertaking. However, it is vital as a key objective of the proposal is to provide policy makers with tangible tools that accurately reflect the unobserved nature of these markets. Given the global significance of illicit markets, the novel concepts proposed, and the focus on policy, this project has the potential to make a sizable impact, both in and beyond academia, representing an ambitious but worthwhile pursuit.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 none
Forensic Economics
published pages: 20, ISSN: 2278-5329, DOI:
Science and Technology Issue 25 2019-06-06
2019 Julian Hidalgo
Forensic Econometrics: Demand Estimation when Data are Missing
published pages: , ISSN: 1468-5876, DOI:
Japanese Economic Review 2019-04-18
2018 Bridget Hiedemann and Steven Stern
Will You Still Want Me Tomorrow? The Dynamics of Families’ Long-Term Care Arrangements
published pages: , ISSN: 0022-166X, DOI:
Journal of Human Resources 2019-04-18

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The information about "FORENSICS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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