One of the most remarkable aspects of the transition process in the former Soviet Union has been the extent to which the economy has effectively become demonetized in recent years. At the time of Russia's financial crisis of 1998 it was estimated that up to 70% of industrial output was being exchanged for barter. This book provides an accessible and authoritative analysis of barter in the former Soviet Union, addressing such questions as: • What has brought about this demonetization and why have we not seen the same phenomenon on a widespread scale in central and eastern Europe? • Does the nature of demonetization cast light on what underpins monetary transactions in industrial societies? • What are the consequences for output and growth? • Should the state intervene and how? • Does the network character of many non-monetary transactions have implications for the role and value of social networks in complex modern societies?
• Highly accessible account of the process of demonetization • Offers insights into the current economic state of the former Soviet Union and transition economies in general • Written by a distinguished team of economists and other social scientists
Introduction: barter networks and information islands Paul Seabright; Part I. Theory: 1. Some lasting thing: barter and the value of money Jayasri Dutta; 2. Barter Relationships Canice Prendergast and Lars Stole; 3. An anthropological view of barter in Russia Caroline Humphrey; Part II. Large Scale Empirical Studies: 4. Barter in post-Soviet societies: what does it look like and why does it matter? Alena Ledeneva and Paul Seabright; 5. Different types of non-monetary transaction in Russia Simon Commander and Christian Mummsen; 6. Barter in Russia Sergei Guriev and Barry W. Ickes; 7. The household in a non-monetary market economy Simon Clarke; 8. Barter in transition economies: competing explanations confront Ukrainian data Dalia Marin, Daniel Kaufmann and Bogdan Gorochowskij; 9. Barter and non-monetary transactions in transition economies: evidence from a cross-country survey Wendy Carlin, Steven Fries, Mark Schaffer and Paul Seabright; Part III. Ethnography: 10. How is barter done? The social relations of barter in provincial Russia Caroline Humphrey; 11. Shadow barter: economic necessity or economic crime? Alena Ledeneva; 12. Surrogate currencies and the wild market in Central Siberia David G. Anderson; 13. Bear skins and macaroni: the social life of things at the margins of a Siberian state collective Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov; Conclusion: what is to be done? Paul Seabright and Simon Commander.