Price Discrimination Through Barter: A Theory and Evidence from Russia
AbstractWe build a model of imperfect competition where firms can sell for cash or in-kind payments. Barter is indivisible, and there is no double coincidence of wants. Despite these deficiencies, barter emerges in equilibrium as a means of price discrimination if market power is sufficiently concentrated. The model predicts negative correlation between number of sellers and share of barter in sales. We also show that barter disappears at certain level of concentration. Using survey data on Russian firms, we show that empirical evidence is consistent with predictions of the model. Sergei Guriev, Ph.D.
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