Recently, Wired Magazine published a chart titled “Organized Crime: The World’s Largest Social Network,” which did not mention anything related to art theft, art crime, or the illicit art trade. For anyone who is interested in learning more about why assessing the size and scope of any illicit industry is so difficult, I suggest referring to “Measuring Global Drug Markets: How good are the numbers and why we should care about them?” by Peter Reuter and Victoria Greenfield (2001. World Economics. Vol.2 No.2, pp. 159-173). The paper discusses the ambiguities and issues inherent in the most widely cited figures for the international drug trade, and it identifies whether they can be much improved. Accordingly, they would likely find it problematic that anyone would attempt to compare and contrast the values of the “largest” illicit industries.
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