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exchange, mutual transfer of goods, money, services, or their equivalents; also the marketplace where such transfer occurs, such as a stock exchange or a commodity exchange (see commodity market). In early human society, exchange of unessential articles, such as jewelry, was common, but no group could afford to rely on another group for the necessities of life. Gradually, division of labor led to the barter economy, in which articles were produced for exchange. Modern capitalistic society, although an outgrowth of the exchange economy, is no longer based on exchange. Strict exchange depends on barter; in modern society the money and price system—in which goods and services are produced in exchange for specified amounts of a standard currency—has largely replaced barter, except for limited arrangements done on a local basis (such as within a town or village). Broadly, the term is now used to signify exchange of goods and services for money. The price of the various factors in exchange is determined by their supply and market demand. Conversion of one country's currency into that of another by means of still others is called arbitrage or arbitration of exchange. The term exchange also refers to the amount of money necessary to buy a given amount in a foreign country, usually for the foreign exchange of goods and services.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in civil law, one of the forms of contract whereby the parties exchange property for other property. After the barter contract is executed, each of the parties loses the right of ownership to the property transferred and acquires that right to the property received. The similarity between the barter contract, which involves the compensated transfer of ownership of property, and the contract of sale and purchase means that many of the rules relating to the contract of sale and purchase can be applied to the barter contract (a procedure established in Soviet legislation).

Barter originated as a primitive form of commodity exchange but was supplanted by sale and purchase and has generally become insignificant. Under Soviet law the barter contract usually is concluded between citizens, but it may also be made between cooperative and other public organizations. A barter contract involving state organizations may be concluded in cases specifically envisioned by the laws of the USSR and the Union republics.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


trade by the exchange of goods
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Ben Pauling: eyeing February 10 return for Barters Hill
David Bass has ridden Barters Hill in all but one of his starts and has been counting down the days.
"Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days I have decided Barters Hill will run at Doncaster," Pauling, former assistant to Nicky Henderson, said yesterday.
Examples of service barters in the literature included house painting (Peterson, 1996), babysitting (Canter et al., 1994), musical instrument lessons (Hendricks, 1979), office assistance (Thomas, 2002), automobile repair (Zur, 2008), income tax accounting (Haas, Malouf, & Mayerson, 1986), and full body massages (Hendricks, 1979).
The deductibility of expenses involved in a barter transaction is more difficult to understand.
According to common law, effective in Portugal as nothing has been legislated contradicting it, Lassarte (6) and Bartachino Firmio acknowledge that the tax is not due until the barter is concluded by both parties.
What are the mechanics of barter in today's business world?
BARTER is the generic term for transactions in which goods (or services) are traded for other goods (or services)without the use of money.
Anyone can barter, whether they live on a two-acre lot or a 5,000-acre farm.
As a result, some mental health professionals make barter arrangements to help their patients enter or continue treatment.