Systems of Barter and Scrip

January 18, 1933

Report Outline
Self-Help Method for Relief of Economic Distress
The Barter Movement in the Present Depression
Use of Scrip to Facilitate Barter and Promote Trade
Barter and Exchange Plans in International Trade

Self-Help Method for Relief of Economic Distress

Proposals for Federal and State Aid to Barter Exchanges

Reduction or exhaustion of the money purchasing power of large numbers of unemployed wage-earners and farmers has brought about a steady and increasingly rapid growth of the practice of barter in the United States. Starting with sporadic cases of simple trading or swapping by individuals, either of one article for another or of a certain quantity of commodities for a specified amount of labor, the barter principle has been extended in the last two years, particularly in the West and Middle West, to the development of a relatively large number of organized cooperative exchanges which are satisfying the primary needs of hundreds of thousands of persons who would otherwise be dependent on charity.

On January 15, 1933, a group of prominent economists and relief workers issued a joint memorandum in which they declared:

That state governments should be urged to investigate the possibility of facilitating the interchange of goods and services among unemployed workers by means of a system of emergency exchanges.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Economic Crises
Exports and Imports