The Economic Institution of International Barter

24 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2003

See all articles by Dalia Marin

Dalia Marin

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Monika Schnitzer

University of Munich - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

Starting with the international debt crisis in the 1980s, international barter increased substantially. More recently, barter has emerged in Russia and South East Asia. This paper examines how barter can help highly indebted countries to finance imports if they cannot use standard credit arrangements. We argue that payment in goods is easier to enforce than payment in money. However, debtors may pay with inferior quality products. We rank goods with respect to these incentive properties and derive the economic institution of commodity money which explains the trade pattern in barter. Our theoretical predictions are consistent with data on barter contracts.

Suggested Citation

Marin, Dalia and Schnitzer, Monika, The Economic Institution of International Barter. The Economic Journal, Vol. 112, pp. 293-316, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=313275

Dalia Marin (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 2446 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 6227 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Monika Schnitzer

University of Munich - Department of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 2217 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 2767 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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