Dr. HUNG Po Wah, Eva
Transnational movement of goods, capital, and labor has become a taken-for-granted activity under globalization. Yet apart from sketchy records of criminal activities, cross-border exchanges through informal or illicit means are seldom studied. This is particularly so when many ordinary citizens take advantage of the grey areas in unregulated transactions. While the scope and extent of such exchanges are believed to be extensive and sizable, there is a dearth of evidence on the organizations, transaction mechanisms, and processes of this shadow economy.
This project contributes to filling of this gap by studying the shadow economy developed along the cross-border region of the Pearl River Delta Region in Southern China. It seeks to examine three aspects of cross-border shadow economic activities, namely, the flow of goods (smuggling of daily necessities), of capital (capital flight and money laundering), and of labor (illegal migrant workers and prostitutes). The broader purpose is to uncover some of the workings of a hidden economic order and to map out its relationship with the formal economy.