A new type of money for a Mayan community to build resilience in a context of economic crisis

Ranulfo Paiva Sobrinho1, Claudia Maricusa Agraz Hernández2, Karla Vanessa Córdoba Brenes3, Juan Osti Sáenz2, Ademar Ribeiro Romeiro4

1Researcher at the Institute of Economics in the Campinas State University. Cidade Universitária “Zeferino Vaz” Barão Geraldo – Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil. CEP: 13083-970. Telefonista – PABX: 55 19 3521-2121. Co-founder of Sustainability.School

2Instituto EPOMEX, Universidad Autónoma de Campeche, Av. Agustín Melgar s/n entre Juan de la Barrera y Calle 20, Col. Buenavista, A.P. 24039 San Francisco de Campeche, Campeche, México. Teléfono (52) 981 8119800 ext. 62309. Fax ext. 62399.

3Co-founder of Sustainability.School. http://www.sustainability.school

4Researcher at the Institute of Economics in the Campinas State University. Cidade Universitária “Zeferino Vaz” Barão Geraldo – Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil. CEP: 13083-970. Telefonista – PABX: 55 19 3521-2121.


We present the proposal of a complementary currency, the Sodziles, to strength the local economy and social ties among the members of the Mayan community of Sodzil (Campeche, Mexico) that work in a mangrove restoration project. This project is important both for the conservation of mangroves and for the social and economic dynamics of Sodzil community. The Sodziles are backed by the restored mangrove ecosystem. We describe key local environmental, social and economic aspects, as well as the macroeconomic context within which the project is developing, specifically, the credit expansion and level of indebtedness in the various sectors of the country, and especially in Campeche State, where the restoration project is in process. From there, it was possible to identify that Mexico is close to a strong economic recession due to the high level of indebtedness of the sectors of its economy. The occurrence of this crisis may affect government funds to finance the restoration project, as well as economic activities such as construction works on which some of the Mayan descendants depend. There is no crisis yet, but it is important to consider the Sodziles as an option in case this crisis happens and also to ensure that the recovered mangroves are protected.

Article Ranulfo et al.pdf

To cite this article: Ranulfo Paiva Sobrinho et al. (2017) ‘A new type of money for a Mayan community to build resilience in a context of economic crisis’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 85-97 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.010

Let’s change: a critical study of the aims and practices of a local exchange trading scheme

Arianna Bove

School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London Francis Bancroft Building, Room 3.44a. Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, United Kingdom. Phone: +44 (0)20 7882 8412 Email: a.bove@qmul.ac.uk


The paper presents the findings of ethnographic research and a survey of a Local Exchange Trading Scheme in North-East London and asks the question of whether the scheme delivers on the aims and objectives of its members. The research found that whilst its members express a strong politically motivated desire for an alternative to the prevailing economic system, the LETS scheme falls short of delivering on those ambitions. The findings raise the question of whether there is anything intrinsic to this form of local community currency that leads it to be more inclusive, egalitarian and fair.

Article Bove.pdf

To cite this article: Arianna Bove (2017) ‘Let’s change: a critical study of the aims and practices of a local exchange trading scheme’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 65-83 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.009

Which characteristics of communities boost time-banking? A case study of the United States

Katerina Gawthorpe

University of Economics, Prague, W. Churchill Sq. 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic, Email: xzimk04@vse.cz

This paper empirically examines the characteristics of communities with successful time banking schemes. Dataset for this study consists of 909 counties in the U.S, 314 of these counties employ a time-banking currency. The selected factors in this study are captured by 13 variables that affect the number of exchanged hours, namely income inequality, social security, unemployment rate, a set of poverty and income variables and various industry composition indicators. This paper aims to statistically model which specific characteristics of local communities significantly impact the number of hours exchanged. The research especially focuses on the factors of inequality and poverty. The hypothesis tests the assumption that an increase in hours exchanged corresponds to higher income inequality, higher unemployment density, and social-security benefits to constituents. The outcome of the model partially contradicts this hypothesis. The findings indicate a higher portion of impoverished, low-income families as well as an increase in the income inequality variable to negatively affect the number of hours exchanged. Oppositely, in line with previous literature, the result of the model supports joblessness and social security as positive indicators and reveals retail-trade as a significant factor for the successful operation of a time bank. More thorough examination of such findings discloses reasons behind such patterns. A suitable policy is proposed in the end of this paper.

Article Gawthorpe

To cite this article: Katerina Gawthorpe (2017) ‘Which characteristics of communities boost time-banking? Case study of the United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 51-64 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.008

Sharing is caring: Mediterranean time banking in a multidimensional crisis scenario

Lucía del Moral-Espín

Universidad Pablo Olavide, Seville (Spain) ldelesp@upo.es

Time banks (TB) have spread all over Europe as part of a wider expansion of alternative economic spaces. Much of the existing literature has focused on UK and US time banking models, while TBs in other regions have been overlooked. This article contributes to a feminist understanding of time banking in a crisis context and, specifically, analyses possible particularities of Mediterranean TBs on the basis of case studies from Emilia Romagna (Italy) and Andalucia (Spain). The article describes the methodology and introduces the perspectives of Feminist economics before outlining the origins and development of time banking initiatives in both countries. The second section explores the history and characteristics of the selected TBs, presenting details of their objectives, member motivations and exchanges. The discussion analyses the contributions of Feminist economics to the understanding of time banking, and the conclusion provides a summary of the most important ideas.

Article del Moral.pdf

To cite this article: Lucía del Moral-Espín (2017) ‘Sharing is Caring: Mediterranean Time Banking in a Multidimensional Crisis Scenario’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 33-50 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.007

What is the potential for community currencies to deliver positive public health outcomes? Case study of Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK

Gemma Burgess

University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EP, Glb36@cam.ac.uk

There is evidence that increased levels of community engagement and social participation can improve population health. Community currencies such as Time Credits are one way to support and encourage people to be more involved in their local community. As a result, they have attracted investment by local governments in the UK, with the hope of finding new ways to work with deprived communities, improve individual outcomes that lead to better health, and reduce the use of public services at a time of financial austerity.

The aim of this research was to evaluate the health related outcomes of volunteering through Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The conceptual model developed during the research shows how Time Credits were expected to influence some of the social determinants of health and, by doing so, enhance health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. This in depth empirical study shows the potential of such activity to support pathways to better health, but equally demonstrates the challenges in quantifying such outcomes and in evidencing any reduction in the use of public services as a result.

Article Burgess

To cite this article: Gemma Burgess (2017) ‘What is the potential for community currencies to deliver positive public health outcomes? Case study of Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 19-32 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.006

The bright and the dark side of virtual currencies

Milenko Josavac

Harderstrasse 35, 3800 Interlaken, Switzerland. E-Mail: m.josavac@gmail.com

The scope of this article is to examine the positive (bright) and negative (dark) aspects of virtual currencies by critically assessing the relevant literature. In addition, the findings from the bright and dark side are the groundwork for the discussion of how crime prevention units and financial supervisors addressed to specific issues with virtual money. On the bright side, virtual currencies can provide a reasonable level of privacy but are not fully anonymous. Second, the academic discussion about the price stability of Bitcoins is split into two opposing groups. Critics find that the decentralised feature of virtual currencies is a significant disadvantage of the technology because it seriously reduces the flexibility to respond to economic shocks. In contrast, supporters argue that centralised operations by monetary authorities are actually inducting financial instability. Third, virtual currencies charge in overall less fees for payments and achieve similar processing speed compared to electronic payment systems. On the dark side, virtual currencies mainly operate outside the banking system and do not endanger the global financial stability at this stage of development. Second, technical improvements in the technology could increase consumer protection similar to established payment services. Finally, the lack of physical contact provides more options for money laundering and tax evasion than traditional ways do. In conclusion, the global legislation is still hesitant to implement a robust regulatory framework. As such, the effect of the recent legislation by crime prevention units and financial supervisors remains toothless.

Article Josavac.pdf

To cite this article: Milenko Josavac (2017) ‘The Bright and the Dark Side of Virtual Currencies. Recent Development in Regulatory Framework’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 1-18 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.005

Using Simulation and Gaming to Design a Community Currency System

Masayuki Yoshida* and Shigeto Kobayashi**

* Joetsu University of Education, Japan, Email: yoshida@juen.ac.jp

** Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan Email: s-kobaya@jaist.ac.jp

(Authors with equal contribution)

We position gaming and simulation as one method for designing a community currency (CC) that matches the local customs and institutions at the introductory stage and discuss the effects of this method by analysing the results of the attempts made so far. In order to learn the CC system and to promote common understanding among different stakeholders, we made The Community Currency Game (CCG). We implemented the gaming to the residents who were planning to introduce a CC into their town. In the gaming, participants’ attitudes towards the diversity of money were positively affected and they began to recognize that the social network created by CC is important to the region. We found that through the virtual use of a CC in gaming, it is possible to share knowledge of participants’ perception of the CC and their resulting behaviours and utilize this knowledge to discuss a fundamental aspect of the CC and its design. We constructed a computer simulation model based on CCG to identify the factors that promote the circulation of CC. We found that the purchase rates of the area within town increased within three parameters: the premium rate of CC, the proportion of the CC in salaries, and the probability of volunteers with CC. As residents began to offer discounts according to the premium rate of the CC, shop evaluations inside the area increased. Therefore, this policy stimulates the local economy. However, the cost of the CC issue increased owing to the premium. On the other hand, policies in which the resident agents’ salaries were paid with CC and volunteers were paid by residents with CC are sustainable. These policies do not directly stimulate purchases inside the town. However, the purchase rate of the area within town gradually increases with the ratio of the CC in salaries. Moreover, the probability of volunteers increases according to habitual use of CC, community-oriented values, and the balance of CC. In this study, we found that simulation is an excellent method of presenting specific scenarios for a CC design based on the discussion in the gaming. Within the cooperative relationship between community residents and researchers, a method utilizing both gaming and simulation can be effective in designing a CC in the introductory stage, which until now, has been carried out on an ad hoc basis.

This paper focuses on the diverse development of modern community currencies (CCs) in Japan and provides a classification of them by type. Modern CCs appeared in the early 1970s and since then various types have circulated globally. With the increase in CC practices, academic research into CCs has emerged as a growing area of interest. However, since CC systems are diverse, it is difficult to obtain a commonly recognized definition of CCs, or criteria for their classification according to their characteristics. Since this problem is shared even by international researchers, it has become an important issue in the field. In this study, we confirm the definition and classification of CCs by surveying previous studies on Japanese CCs. Furthermore, this paper reveals the reality of CC systems that continue to evolve through a process of development and decline, by looking back at their history. In order to explain the evolutionary process, we employ the concept of “countermovement,” as advocated by economic anthropologist Karl Polanyi. Based on our outcomes, we describe three stages in the evolution of CCs, which are the reciprocal realm, integration between the reciprocal and market realms, and new realms.

Article Yoshida & Kobayashi

To cite this article: Masayuki Yoshida and Shigeto Kobayashi (2018) ‘Using Simulation and Gaming to Design a Community Currency System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2018 Volume 22 (Winter) 132-144 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2018.011