Sergei Guriev and Dmitri Kvassov

"Barter for price discrimination"
JEL codes: D43, L13, P42.
Keywords: barter, price discrimination, oligopoly

Abstract: We study barter as a discriminatory instrument in oligopoly with asymmetric information. Buyers (producers of final goods) differ in the quality of their products. Sellers (producers of inputs) use barter as a screening device: the higher quality buyers pay in cash while the lower quality ones pay in kind. Barter, identified with non-monetary contracts that give a seller control over a buyer's output, emerges in equilibrium even in the absence of financial constraints. There is a positive relationship between market concentration and the level of barter. Barter disappears as the market becomes more competitive. Barter and no-barter equilibria coexist for a range of market structures.

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