Rethinking Alternative Markets in the Context of Economic Crisis and Austerity in Greece

BENMECHEDDAL A., GORGE H. and ÖZÇAĞLAR-TOULOUSE N. (2017). Published in Journal of MacroMarketing, 37 (2), 193-205.

Alternative markets are often described as exchange systems for people who wish to escape the capitalist markets. In this article, we argue that alternative markets may also emerge in a context of economic constraint, in which people have restricted access to mainstream markets. In order to survive, they have to find alternative ways of obtaining goods and services. To understand the emergence and characteristics of the constrained type of alternative market, we examine the bartering systems established in Greece in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the imposition of austerity measures by international and European institutions on the country’s economic system. This study offers theoretical insights for the literature on alternative markets by conceptualizing bartering systems as a complementary market to the capitalist markets.