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Definition Of:

Barter

Bible DictionaryDictionary of Political Economy
Trading of goods or services directly for other goods or services, without using money or any other similar unit of account or medium of exchange. Although barter represents the earliest form of trade discovered by primitive man that made possible a more extensive division of labor beyond the limited bounds of a family or small clan grouping, it quickly encounters some practical limits to its efficiency as the division of labor becomes still more extensive and more specialized. Bartering requires what economists refer to as a "double coincidence of wants." That is, for a voluntary barter exchange to take place, it is not enough for you just to find someone who has the exact good you want to acquire -- he must also happen to want to "buy" the particular good that you have to trade for it at the same time. Finding someone whose immediate needs exactly complement your own in this precise way may take quite a lot of searching, which is costly in terms of time and effort. The primitive partial solution to this matching problem is to make one or more intermediate swaps with still other people in order to acquire some other item that will be more acceptable to the owner of the item you desire -- but this will also tend to be very time-consuming. The more complex the division of labor, the more finely specialized the population's productive roles, and the more numerous the variety of goods and services produced in an economy, the more costly and cumbersome barter trading will become because the likelihood of any two people having a double coincidence of wants shrinks dramatically. History strongly suggests, in fact, that the (sometimes gradual, sometimes amazingly rapid) replacement of a barter economy by an exchange economy employing some form of money to facilitate trade is a near-absolute necessity before much economic development beyond a rather primitive tribal level can occur.

[See also: moneytransaction costs]


 

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A: Page 1 of 19.

AAGRA
AAR
ABOLFAZL SHADVAR
ABSOLUTE POVERTY
ACCRUED INTEREST
ACHIEVED STATUS
ACID RAIN
ACUTE DISEASE
ADAPTATION
ADJUSTED GROSS ...AERO
AFFIRMATIVE ACT...
AG
AGE GRADES
AGE STRUCTURE
AGEISM
AGENCIES OF SOC...AGRA
AGRARIAN SOCIET...AGRIBUSINESS
AIDS (Acquired ...
AIR POLLUTION
ALAA
ALIENATION
ANDROGYNY
ANIMISM
ANOMIA
ANOMIE
ANOMIE THEORY
ANTHROPOLOGY
APARTHEID
APEC
APG
APPROPRIATE TEC...ARMS RACE
ARMS TRADE
ARRANGED MARRIA...ASCRIBED STATUS
ASSET PROTECTIO...
ASSETS
ASSIMILATION
AUTHORITARIAN P...
AUTHORITY
AUTOCRATIC RULE
AUTOMATION
Abatement
Abbey
Abbot
Ability-to-Pay ...Ablutophobia
Absolute Advant...
Absolute advant...Abundance
Acarophobia
Accelerator
Acceptance
Acceptance-reje...
Accolade
Accoutrement
Acerophobia
Acheronophobia
Achluophobia
Acid Rain
Acousticophobia
Acquired Endowm...Acquittal
Acre
Acrophobia
Act of Parliame...
Acting Speaker
Active Alumni M...Adaptive Expect...
Additive
Address in Repl...Administrator o...
Admiral
Adoubement
Advance estimate
Adventurous Shi...Adverse Selecti...Aeroacrophobia
Aeronausiphobia
Aerophobia
Affection
Agency problem
Agency problem ...Agency problem ...
Aggregate Deman...Aggregate Expen...Aggregate Suppl...
Aggregate demand
Aggregate supply
Aggression
Agincourt, Batt...Agliophobia
Agoraphobia
Agraphobia
Agrizoophobia
Agyrophobia

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