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The Economic Institution Of International Barter


  • Dalia Marin

    (University of Munich)

  • Monika Schnitzer

    (University of Munich)


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. Copyright 2002 Royal Economic Society

Suggested Citation

  • Dalia Marin & Monika Schnitzer, 2002. "The Economic Institution Of International Barter," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 293-316, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:479:p:293-316

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dalia Marin & Monika Schnitzer, 2003. "Creating Creditworthiness through Reciprocal Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 159-174, February.
    2. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1998. "The Paradox of Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 733-771.
    3. Caves, Richard E & Marin, Dalia, 1992. "Countertrade Transactions: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1171-1183, September.
    4. Gooptu, Sudarshan & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 1992. "Factors that affect short-term commercial bank lending to developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 886, The World Bank.
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    7. Amann, Erwin & Marin, Dalia, 1994. "Risk-Sharing in International Trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 3110, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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    9. Marin, Dalia, 1990. "Tying in International Trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 3114, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    10. James E. Rauch & Alessandra Casella, 1998. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Group Ties," NBER Working Papers 6628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hennart, Jean-Francois & Anderson, Erin, 1993. "Countertrade and the Minimization of Transaction Costs: An Empirical Examination," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 290-313, October.
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    13. Kletzer, K.M. & Wright, B.D., 1990. "Sovereign Debt Renegotiation In A Consumption-Smoothing Model," Papers 610, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    14. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "Tying Trade Flows: A Theory of Countertrade with Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1047-1064, December.
    15. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1995. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 567-585, June.
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    18. Eaton, Jonathan, 1990. "Debt Relief and the International Enforcement of Loan Contracts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 43-56, Winter.
    19. Amann, Erwin & Marin, Dalia, 1994. "Risk-Sharing in International Trade: An Analysis of Countertrade," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 63-77, March.
    20. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jinjarak, Yothin, 2007. "Foreign direct investment and macroeconomic risk," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 509-519, September.
    2. Dalia Marin & Monika Schnitzer, 1998. "Economic incentives and international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 705-716, May.
    3. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 2005. "Disorganization and financial collapse," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 387-408, February.
    4. Dassiou Xeni & Choi Chong Ju & Maldoom Dan, 2004. "Trade and Linked Exchange; Price Discrimination Through Transaction Bundling," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, May.
    5. Barbara, CRESTI, 2003. "U.S. Domestic Barter : an Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003005, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. María del Carmen García-Alonso & Paul Levine & Antonia Morga, 2004. "Export Credit Guarantees, Moral Hazard and Exports Quality," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 311-327, October.
    7. Barbara Cresti, 2005. "US domestic barter: an empirical investigation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(17), pages 1953-1966.
    8. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Payments in Kind," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 244, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 10 Feb 2000.
    9. Oana Răvaș, 2011. "The Utility of the Barter Agreement in International Commercial Trade," Annals of the University of Petrosani, Economics, University of Petrosani, Romania, vol. 11(1), pages 223-234.
    10. Jose Noguera & Susan Linz, 2003. "A Theoretical Model of Barter in Russia," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp207, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation


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