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Debt Overhang and Barter in Russia

Author

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  • Sergei Guriev
  • Igor Makarov
  • Mathilde Maurel

Abstract

In this paper we study, both theoretically and empirically, the relationship between barter and the indebtedness of Russian firms. We build a model in which a firm uses barter to protect its working capital against outside creditors even when barter involves high transaction costs. The main innovation of our work is to allow renegotiation between the firm and its creditors. If the creditors are rational, they often agree to postpone debt payments in order to avoid destroying the firm's working capital. It turns out, however, that even if the firm cannot ensure it will not divert cash ex post, the outcome of renegotiation still provides ex ante incentives to use barter. We show that the greater the debt overhang, the more likely the use of barter, and although the possibility of debt restructuring reduces barter, it does not eliminate it altogether. We also discuss the role of the government bond market and weak bankruptcy legislation. The firm-level evidence is consistent with the model's predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergei Guriev & Igor Makarov & Mathilde Maurel, 2000. "Debt Overhang and Barter in Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 339, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2000-339
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Babetskaia-Kukharchuk, Oxana & Maurel, Mathilde, 2004. "Russia's accession to the WTO: the potential for trade increase," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 680-699, December.
    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. 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.
    4. Richard B. Goud Jr., 2002. "Inter-Firm Non-Monetary Transactions in Russia: A Literature Review," Development and Comp Systems 0207001, EconWPA.
    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. Vasily Astrov & Korkut Boratav & Sandor Richter, 2002. "Monthly Report 05/2002," wiiw Monthly Reports 2002-05, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    7. Dolud, Olena, 2004. "Nichtmonetäre Transaktionen in der ukrainischen Landwirtschaft: Determinanten, Spezifika und Folgen," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 24, number 93080.
    8. Vlad Ivanenko, 2004. "Access to liquidity and non-monetary trade in Russia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 21-38.
    9. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2011. "Soft budget constraint and the parastatal sector," MPRA Paper 37926, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    barter; demonetisation; debt overhang; renegotiations;

    JEL classification:

    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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