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Barter in Russia


  • V. Makarov
  • G. Kleiner


The phenomenon of barter as the principal form for making domestic transactions in industry sharply distinguishes Russia from other countries with transitional economies. In recent years, barter in our economy has clearly demonstrated its stability, viability, and scope. There are a significant number of publications by both domestic and foreign authors that are devoted to the theoretical interpretation of this phenomenon, its origins and consequences, and methods of overcoming it.1 Approaches to the explanation of barter are influenced by virtually all the principal areas of contemporary economic theory—neoclassical macroeconomics, which relegates the main role in the appearance of barter to the factors of inflation, monetization, and interest rate levels; neoclassical microeconomics, which considers the quantitative aspects of barter exchange from the standpoint of the principles of maximizing profits through the selection of the price and volume-product mix policies of enterprises in the barter and monetary markets; neoinstitutional approaches, which focus attention on the contract and informal aspects of the realization of barter; evolutionary approaches, which consider barter as a form of vital activity of the population of enterprises forced to adapt to changing conditions (the demonetization of the country under this approach could be likened to a drastic reduction in one of the resources in the environment essential to the life of organisms in the given population). Statistical research on barter and other nonpayment versions of transactions is also reflected in the literature.2 The fundamentals of mathematical modeling of barter situations had already been propounded in works of the 1970s and 1980s.3 Essentially, in the context of economic science on transformation processes, a certain direction took shape, which could be called "barterology." In view of this, it is difficult to agree with P. Karpov that "a science of commodity exchange operations does not exist."4

Suggested Citation

  • V. Makarov & G. Kleiner, 2000. "Barter in Russia," Problems of Economic Transition, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(11), pages 51-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:prectr:v:42:y:2000:i:11:p:51-79 DOI: 10.2753/PET1061-1991421151

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    Cited by:

    1. Guriev, Sergei & Makarov, Igor & Maurel, Mathilde, 2002. "Debt Overhang and Barter in Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 635-656, December.
    2. Fleischman, Gary & Herz, Paul, 2005. "An empirical investigation of trends in barter activity in the Russian Federation," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 39-63.
    3. Ivan Samson & Patrick Ternaux, 2008. "Innovative Economic Behaviour in Russia: the Case of Labour Markets," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 63-85.
    4. Guriev, Sergei & Kvassov, Dmitri, 2004. "Barter for price discrimination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 329-350, March.
    5. Vlad Ivanenko & Dmitry Mikheyev, 2002. "The Role of Non-monetary Trade in Russian Transition," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 405-419.
    6. Ponomareva, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2004. "Federal Tax Arrears in Russia: Liquidity Problems, Federal Redistribution or Russian Resistance?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4267, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Sergei Guriev & Dmitry Kvassov, 2000. "Price Discrimination Through Barter: A Theory and Evidence from Russia," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0397, Econometric Society.

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