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US domestic barter: an empirical investigation

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This paper studies the barter industry developed in North America during the 1950s, pointing out some of its main characteristics. Thus, it examines its two main sectors: (i) corporate barter and (ii) commercial barter. Contrary to expectations, the analysis of official data shows that this phenomenon is essentially pro-cyclical for the commercial barter component. Moreover, commercial barter activity turns out to be complementary to the cash economy. While the two sectors display some differences in their pattern, they both help firms to increase their profits.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: CORE and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain, Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 РLouvain-La-Neuve, Belgium,, Email:

Publication date: September 20, 2005

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