• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Barter

Barter is the direct exchange of goods or services, without the use of money as a medium of exchange. Bartering is an exchange system that can most clearly be seen in 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 ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles