In economics, what is the "double coincidence of wants"?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In economics, the double coincidence of wants is a situation that must occur in order for barter to be possible.  It is a major reason that barter is a very awkward basis for an economic system.

In order for barter to occur, two people's wants must coincide.  Let us say that I have some wheat that I want to trade.  Let us further say that you have a chicken I would like to have.  In order for this trade to occur, our wants must coincide.  I must want your chicken.  In addition, you must want my wheat.  If either of these conditions does not apply (for example, I want your chicken, but you want tomatoes, not wheat) we cannot trade.  

The double coincidence of wants, then, exists when both parties to a barter exchange have what the other wants.

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pandurangaa | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

it is a situation where supplier of goods A wants goods B and supplier of goods B wants goods A.it is also known as 'dual coincedence of wants'.

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