Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach

The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) is a form of local currency which is non-tangible, interest-free, freely created, and restricted to the local community. It is advocated by ‘green’ economists as a tool for enabling more sustainable economic development; that is, it is claimed to promote self-reliant communities, overcome cash scarcity (which inhibits economic activity), and incorporate environmental and socially equitable ethics. To test whether this is indeed the case, a social audit of one LETS is conducted. The case study is found to be a small, low-trading rural system with no local import-substitution and limited opportunities for the creation of new economic opportunities. However, there were large social and community benefits and a ‘warm glow’ effect associated with participation; most members were involved for these political and ethical reasons. This characteristic seems to be broadly similar to other LETS.

Gill Seyfang Volume 1(1997) 1

IJCCR vol 1 (1997) 1 Seyfang

To cite this article: Seyfang, G. (1997) ‘Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.004