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Barter economy can be defined as a cashless economy system under which goods and services are sold or traded at a negotiable rate. Barter system forms one of the earliest financial system that finds mention in the historic era. Barter system has widely been used by people in many fields but has not yielded any successful outcome. An example of barter system within the historic period would comprise of exchanging pottery for grains. Modern-day example would include, exchange of content creation for research activities. The concept is primarily based on reciprocal interaction. There is a need of mutual coincidence wants between the traders and this complicates the barter system.
However, at the same time, certain scholars suggest that barter system reinforces a sense of mutual trust and cooperation among the community of traders. In context of recent years, barter system has been recommended as an appropriate economic exchange style that could potentially problems pertaining to insecurity, unemployment and worker exploitation. The barter system are not mutually expensive and can successfully work within a capitalist system. It is also important to note here that the barter system operates on the principle of reciprocity and therefore it is not profit-driven.
A barter system is said to occur when there are at least two or multiple parties or individuals involved in the process. The system progresses with the exchange of a business and does not involve financial transactions. Overall, the barter system is one of the primitive methods of business transactions and still finds application in the financial market. Three typical examples of barter systems can be explained which include bartering with customer goods, bartering with services and modern advertising services.
The first example of bartering with goods involves the exchange of a product between two or more individuals or groups. For instance, considering a person X who has a basket of apples but wants eggs can trade with Person Y who has a basket of eggs but wants apples. In such a condition, Person X can exchange half of his apples with a dozen of eggs from person Y. Another instance could involve, exchange of services, where person A could provide cooking services to a person in exchange of cleaning services. Another example would comprise of modern advertising services where one organization ABC could sell out its available advertisement space to another organization XYZ in order to advertise their services in their available ad space. This would help in expanding and popularising marketing services.
Historical background reveals that barter was the first method of trading goods and services between two individuals that did not involve monetary transactions. This system of economy was the first system that was used by human civilizations. However, scholars state that a barter economy is not that effective as it is not useful in generating revenue. The most obvious problem triggered by the barter system is the problem pertaining to ‘double coincidence of wants’. The meaning can be explained with the first example where person X exchanges half his basket of apples for a dozen of eggs.
It is important to note here that Person Y would not be contended until and unless he meets person Y who wants his apples and is willing to exchange a dozen of eggs for half a basket of apples. Another, problem with barter system includes the problem of supply limitations with respect to demand from consumer services. Overall it can be said that the barter system is less efficient and is exceedingly complex as there is a need of voluminous resources and in this case, the resources cannot be used for the production. Also, on account of the poor efficiency and success rate of the barter system, the concept of financial exchange was invented.
The barter system is based on the exchange of goods and services directly and does not involve financial transactions. The process occurs between two or more individuals where goods and commodities are directly exchanged and no money is involved in the process. The process is instantaneous and proceeds with instant reciprocation of goods. In most of the cases, the barter system occurs bilaterally, however the system in some cases can also be multilateral. In modern times, the barter system runs parallel to the monetary system so as to maintain consistent growth of economy and production. Barter system was widely used by the popular human civilizations.
An example of barter system could be explained as the exchange of goods between Person A and Person B, where person A exchanges half a kilogram of his grains for two jars of honey from Person B. The system requires optimal resources and ‘double coincidence of wants’ for its functioning. However, in modern times, the economic system seems inappropriate and unproductive. There are a number of advantages concerned with barter economy which includes improved connectedness and mutual trust between traders and a secured trading option during the time of hyperinflation. On the other hand, limitations include a limited economy and a lack of standard financial value.
Barter system predominately involves the exchange of goods and commodities instead of monetary or financial exchanges. This form of economy is one of the most primitive forms of economy and is associated with a number of disadvantages. The disadvantages primarily comprise of lack of double coincidence of wants, lack of a standard measurement or value, lack of standard payment system, lack of store value and lack of divisibility within the system of commodity exchange value. The first demerit can be explained where traders found it extremely difficult to come across individuals who were willing to exchange their goods for materials that the first trader wanted or wished. In cases where ‘double coincidence of goods’ did not occur, the exchange could not take place. Another problem included lack of a standard unit, where the goods or the services could not be exchanged for a standard value. This created an ambiguous exchange. Also, the barter system is highly criticized for future payments in relation to interests and payments.
In certain cases, where the resources were exhausted, traders negotiated on future payments in kind, however, provision of the same quality of good was extremely problematic and created confusion. Further, the barter system led to the emergence of problems related to the storage of hoods and loss of value. This affected the buying power of the traders. Lastly, the problem of divisibility is another issue that caused problems, for example, if two people want to exchange their goods with one person for an animal say a cow, the possibility of divisibility becomes complicated and difficult.
The barter system is considered as one of the most primitive economic exchange systems and is criticized by scholars in modern times. However, what seemed appropriate in the historic era is heavily criticized in the modern era. The system seemed feasible in the historic era as exchanges were few and most of the families were self-contended. However, modern times involve a greater number of people and the transaction system has become exceedingly complicated. The greatest problem with the barter economy is the lack of standard payment and the predominate factor of ‘double coincidence of wants’. The barter economy is majorly based on reciprocation of goods and it is extremely difficult to come across another individual who would wish to exchange his goods and would want the goods offered by the first person. This problem triggers the confusion and fallacy of the flow of trading services.
In addition to this, lack of a standard unit of account, lack of information and inability to sub-categorize or sub-divide goods is one of the major demerits associated with the barter system. Also, barter economy does not encourage the production of large scale expensive goods. This can be explained with the help of an example where a person A who is a skilled technician and is capable of manufacturing a luxury commodity such as an air conditioner would not be encouraged to produce the same at a large scale as he would not acquire many economic or monetary benefits. Rather, a financial economy would facilitate the convenient exchange of money and suit the interest of the technician in an appropriate manner.
No, it is impossible for an economy to function by barter. The cashless transaction system is considered to be highly inefficient and inconsistent. This can be explained with the help of a number of examples. Considering a scenario, where person A wishes to exchange his pots for half a kg of meat and heads to the butcher. A person makes an offer to the butcher where he agrees to exchange one of his pots for the meat. The butcher agrees and both the parties exchange their goods for the desired commodities. However, a problem would arise the second time when the potter would wish to exchange his pot for another half a kg of meat. The butcher would potentially refuse as he already has a pot and might ask for something else, maybe a butcher knife. The potter would then first need to trade with a blacksmith in order to get a knife and then exchange the knife for meat. The blacksmith might also refuse to trade with the potter on account of different demands. This causes a major problem with the trading system and the problem would not be solved until and unless the potter comes across an individual and there is a ‘double coincidence of wants’. Only in such a case, the trade would occur.
Therefore, the barter system is extremely ambiguous, uncertain and is not productive. In addition to this, the system also does not add value to the economy and does not operate by means of a suitable standard. These reasons account for the fact why an economy based on the barter system would not function and would rather make the transaction process exceedingly complicated.
The barter system is one of the most primitive systems of economic exchange and has been considered as the most inefficient transaction system in modern times. On analyzing the disadvantages and demerits of the barter system, it can be said that the barter system is not to be implemented by any country any time soon.
However, in this context, it can be said that in case of an acute emergency or in case of a crisis situation where there is an acute shortage of national economy, the barter exchange system could be revived. On account of the lack of financial resources, people might be encouraged to trade directly with others by exchanging commodities.
The response to this question would rather involve a mixed response. However, I have never relied upon the barter system independently and have used the barter exchange system in combination with the financial exchange system. I have conducted business with stakeholders who have provided me with skills and expertise in the form of web designs and analysis and in exchange, I have provided them with technology and content.
However, the exchange of services had monetary value involved and therefore, the overall outcome yielded production and profit. In other words, the barter system without the involvement of monetary exchange is unproductive and insignificant.
The major difficulties involved with the barter system comprise of the absence of a standard measurement value or standard, absence of double coincidence of wants which makes transaction inconvenient and insignificant. In addition to this, other challenging factors include a lack of standard of a standard payment system that triggers unethical activities such as borrowing and lending. Also, since the transaction majorly occurs in kind, there is a problem associated with storing goods and commodities. Another important concern comprises of indivisibility of goods which can be explained with an example where a pastoralist wishes to trade his cow for goods equivalent to its value. In such cases, the divisibility of the cow would mean killing the cow in order to conduct the barter exchange. These factors make the barter exchange economy extremely ambiguous and inconvenient.
Barter system tends to replace the monetary system during stages of the momentary crisis, such as inflation, deflation or under special circumstances, when the currency is unstable. If you have opted for essay or thesis topics such as barter system, you need to start your analysis from the primitive age, when it was widely used. Seeking for some resource material, from the online subject experts at MyAssignmenthelp.com might come handy under such situations.
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