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Barter is the direct exchange of goods or services without the use of money as an intermediary. It is often assumed that bartering is an exchange system limited to nonliterate societies, collapsing states, and the margins of official economies, but it is important to recognize that bartering plays a role in any economic system. Adam Smith famously asserted that it is part of human nature, removed from any utilitarian motivation, to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another. According to a strict definition, barter demands both that each exchange is balanced and that the exchanged goods are actually desired by the acquiring parties. The first postulate assumes that each meeting results in a trade that both parties deem fair and that neither party walks ...

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