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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

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 479 (April)
Pages: 293-316

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:479:p:293-316
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  1. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Paradox of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marin, Dalia, 1990. "Tying in International Trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 3114, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Caves, Richard E & Marin, Dalia, 1992. "Countertrade Transactions: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1171-83, September.
  6. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 2003. "Creating creditworthiness through reciprocal trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 19259, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Eric S. Maskin, 1996. "A Walrasian Theory of Money," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1753, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. 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.
  10. Amann, Erwin & Marin, Dalia, 1994. "Risk-Sharing in International Trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 3110, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Greif, Avner, 1992. "Institutions and International Trade: Lessons from the Commercial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 128-33, May.
  12. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  13. 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.
  14. Casella, Alessandra & Rauch, James E, 1998. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Group Ties," CEPR Discussion Papers 1978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Kletzer, K.M. & Wright, B.D., 1990. "Sovereign Debt Renegotiation In A Consumption-Smoothing Model," Papers 610, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  16. 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.
  17. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "Tying Trade Flows: A Theory of Countertrade with Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1047-64, December.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Maskin, Eric S, 1996. "A Walrasian Theory of Money and Barter," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 955-1005, November.
  19. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 2001. "The non-monetary nature of gifts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1793-1810, December.
  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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