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Barter in Transition Economies: Competing Explanations Confront Ukrainian Data

Author

Listed:
  • Marin, Dalia
  • Kaufmann, Daniel
  • Gorochowskij, Bogdan

Abstract

In this paper we survey the common explanations of barter in transition economies and expose them to detailed survey data on 165 barter deals in Ukraine in 1997. The evidence does not support the notion that soft budget constraints, lack of restructuring, or that the virtual economy are the driving forces behind barter. Further, tax avoidance is only weakly associated with the incidence of barter in Ukraine. We then explore an alternative explanation of barter as a mechanism to address transitional challenges where capital markets and economic institutions are poorly developed. First, barter helps to maintain production by creating a deal-specific collateral which softens the liquidity squeeze in the economy when credit enforcement is prohibitively costly. Second, barter helps to maintain production by preventing firms to be exploited by their input suppliers when suppliers' bargaining position is very strong due to high costs of switching suppliers. Thus, in the absence of trust and functioning capital markets barter is a self-enforcing response to imperfect input and financial markets in the former Soviet Union. The paper concludes by discussing potential long-term costs of barter arrangements, and by suggesting particular pitfalls of expansionary monetary policy in barter economies such as Ukraine and Russia.

Suggested Citation

  • Marin, Dalia & Kaufmann, Daniel & Gorochowskij, Bogdan, 2000. "Barter in Transition Economies: Competing Explanations Confront Ukrainian Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 63, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:63
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/63/1/Barterkaufmann.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Perotti, E. C., 1998. "Inertial credit and opportunistic arrears in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1703-1725, November.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-540, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 2005. "Disorganization and financial collapse," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 387-408, February.
    2. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Pirttila, Jukka, 2004. "Money, barter, and inflation in Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 297-314, June.
    3. Marek Gora & Grzegorz Kula & Magdalena Rokicka & Oleksandr Rohozynsky & Anna Ruzik, 2008. "Social Security, Labour Market and Restructuring: Current Situation and Expected Outcomes of Reforms," ESCIRRU Working Papers 5, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Hellman, Joel S. & Jones, Geraint & Kaufmann, Daniel & Schankerman, Mark, 2000. "Measuring governance, corruption, and State capture - how firms and bureaucrats shape the business environment in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2312, The World Bank.
    5. Jos?? Noguera & Susan J. Linz, 2005. "Barter, Credit, and Welfare: A theoretical inquiry into the barter phenomenon in Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp757, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Richard B. Goud Jr., 2002. "Inter-Firm Non-Monetary Transactions in Russia: A Literature Review," Development and Comp Systems 0207001, EconWPA.
    7. 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.
    8. Marin, Dalia & Huang, Haizhou & Xu, Chenggang, 2002. "Financial Crisis, Economic Recovery and Banking Development in Former Soviet Union Economies," Discussion Papers in Economics 27, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    9. Chousa, Juan Pineiro & Khan, Haider A. & Melikyan, Davit & Tamazian, Artur, 2005. "Assessing institutional efficiency, growth and integration," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 69-84, April.
    10. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2016. "A Short “Second Best” Narrative of the Ukrainian Economy/ Una Breve “Segunda Mejor Opción” de Narrativa de la Economía Ucraniana," MPRA Paper 81714, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2016.
    11. Vlad Ivanenko, 2004. "Access to liquidity and non-monetary trade in Russia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 21-38.
    12. Luoana D. Santarossa, 2001. "Arrears as a Sign of Financial Repression in Transition Economies - The Case of Romania," CERT Discussion Papers 0104, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    13. Howells, Mark I. & Jonsson, Sandra & Käck, Emilia & Lloyd, Philip & Bennett, Kevin & Leiman, Tony & Conradie, Beatrice, 2010. "Calabashes for kilowatt-hours: Rural energy and market failure," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2729-2738, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    barter; transition economies; tax avoidance;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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