MET Professor James Stodder to Washington Post: Crises Bring Back Bartering
On May 11, MET’s James Stodder was quoted in the Washington Post article, “Bartering is back: When life gives you lemons, trade them for a neighbor’s hand sanitizer.” A visiting professor of the practice in the Department of Administrative Sciences, Dr. Stodder is an economist with unique expertise in areas like bartering and the countercyclical effectiveness of community-based currencies, such as Massachusetts’ BerkShares.
The Post article explores the rise of social bartering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people trade hard-to-find essentials such as hand sanitizer, face masks, or bath tissue for goods and services:
Bartering is a natural side effect and one that frequently stems from an economic crisis, said Jim Stodder, an economist and visiting professor at Boston University. It happened during the Great Depression to such an extent many “community currencies,” or forms of local money, were created.
“Any time we have a serious downturn in which people are short of money, these things tend to pop up,” he said.