Virtual social currencies for unemployed people: social networks and job market access

Complementary currencies are developing all around the world, taking various forms (material or immaterial) and fulfilling various functions. They are frequently introduced in order to promote local economy development and to fight against social exclusion. In this paper, we analyze the particular case of virtual currency circulation inside a local community of unemployed people. We elaborate a model on the assumptions that the organization of LETS and the circulation of complementary currencies have two properties: (i) they help unemployed workers to overcome the double coincidence of want necessity of an informal sector founded on barter exchange; (ii) they contribute to maintain and develop unemployed workers’ skills and employability. We study the global properties of a job market associating traditional short-term and long-term unemployment to the organization of LETS. Using a search theoretic model, we find that the initial level of trust of agents in the complementary currency(cies) but also the effective properties of this(ese) currency(cies) inside the LETS are crucial for LETS to survive and become permanent. We also find that if the stationary equilibrium of the job-market includes LETS, then LETS have a positive influence on the rate of employment, on the expected utility of employed workers, and are Pareto improving when the benchmark case is a job market without any LETS.

Maëlle Della Peruta  and Dominique Torre

IJCCR 2015 Della Peruta Torre

To cite this article: Della Peruta, M. and Torre, D., (2015) ‘Virtual social currencies for unemployed people: social networks and job market access’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 31-41  <> ISSN 1325-9547


Territorial development and Community currencies: symbolic meanings in 
Brazilian Community development banks

Brazilian community development banks (CDBs) have established various coordinated financial mechanisms aiming to restructure poor and peripheral local economies. Their development strategy includes an instrument to facilitate access to microfinance and a community currency, combined with the definition of vocational training programmes and support for business start-ups. Put together, these different activities constitute the endogenous and resilient territorial development strategy defined by community development banks. Little scientific literature has been devoted to the study of community currencies in this process. This article presents an overview of the symbolic meanings conveyed by the currency of Banco Palmas, the first and most prominent CDB. First, we present some historical and territorial characteristics of Banco Palmas. Second, we analyze the symbolic role of its currency : money as a bond/link (the building of the community on its territory); money as a medium for institutionalization (of the community itself and to the exogenous actors, as to define a  federative project); and finally money as a vector-catalyst (when the plasticity of money allows to explore its different formats and so, to adapt it to the new perspectives of community and territorial development).

Marie Fare, Carlos de Freitas and Camille Meyer


To cite this article: Fare, M., de Freitas, C. and Meyer, C, (2015) ‘Territorial development and Community currencies : symbolic meanings in Brazilian Community development banks’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (D) 6-17  <> ISSN  1325-9547

The Community Currency Scene in Spain

billetesThis article maps the contours of the community currency scene in Spain. In so doing, it reveals a diverse and vibrant landscape of almost 400 currencies. These are made up of both tried and tested community currency types: service time-banks and mutual credit schemes; a regional currency, the Bilbao-based ekhi and more innovative alternatives such as barter shops and loyalty schemes. The scene is national in scope and has undergone rapid recent growth. The sources used in the study comprise scholarly books, articles published in the Spanish national and regional press, an online database, and interviews and focus groups conducted during field trips to Spain with academics with interests in alternative economic practices, some of Spain’s leading community currency pioneers and community currency user groups and activists. In an effort to reveal the factors shaping community currency practice in Spain, the article discusses the role of municipal councils, community currency pioneers, the recent economic downturn, pre-figurative economic experiments conducted by radical social movements and ideological frameworks such as feminism and de-growth. The article also highlights the extent to which Spanish community currencies have been influenced by developments in Europe, the USA and Latin America.

Neil Hughes

IJCCR 2015 Hughes

To cite this article: Hughes, N. (2015) ‘The Community Currency Scene in Spain’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Winter) 1-11  <>  ISSN  1325-9547

First Micro-Simulation Model of a LEDDA Community Currency-Dollar Economy

Results are presented for a first-in-class microsimulation model of a local-national currency system. The agent-based, stock-flow consistent model uses US Census income data as a starting point to project the evolution of local currency (community currency) and dollar flows within a simplified county-level economy over a period of 28 years. Changes in the distribution of family income are tracked. The community currency system under investigation is the Token Exchange System (TES), a component of the larger Local Economic Direct Democracy Association (LEDDA) framework under development by the Principled Societies Project. The model captures key design features of a TES, and results suggest parameter ranges under which the simulated TES is capable of achieving stated aims. Median and mean take-home family income more than double during the simulation period, income inequality is nearly eliminated, and the un- employment rate drops to a 1 percent structural level. The need for more sophisticated modeling of a TES, and avenues of future research, are discussed.

John Boik

To cite this article: Boik, J. (2014) ‘First Micro-Simulation Model of a LEDDA Community Currency-Dollar Economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 11-29 <> ISSN 1325-9547

IJCCR 2014 Boik


A Counter-Hegemonic Discourse of Economic Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Timebanking in the United States

Timebanking provides an empirical entry point into a better understanding of the discursive strategies used to legitimize alternative currencies. Theoretically this study uses a post-Marxist perspective, particularly the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Methodologically it uses the mixed methodology of a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the websites of 334 timebanks in the United States. Findings include identifying how ideas of strengthening community and social bonds are used by timebanks to construct discursive antagonisms to capitalism. Contributions of this study include extending Laclau and Mouffe’s work on radical political participation to J.K. Gibson-Graham’s conceptualization of economic difference. This study also demonstrates how a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis allows for deeper understanding of counter-hegemonic discursive strategies used by alternative economic exchanges. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Julie Steinkopf Rice

To cite this article: Rice, J. (2014) ‘A Counter-Hegemonic Discourse of Economic Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Timebanking in the United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 1-10  <>  ISSN  1325-9547

IJCCR 2014 Rice

2014 Book reviews

Our round-up of the latest books on community currencies – we add to this section throughout the year.

The Heretic’s Guide to the Future of Finance: Hacking the Future of Money by Brett Scott (2013). Reviewed by Marie-Adélaïde Matheï

Alternative Economies and Spaces: New perspectives for a sustainable economy edited by Hans-Martin Zademach and Sebastian Hillebrand (2013) Reviewed by Gradon Diprose 

IJCCR 2014 book reviews

To cite this article: ‘Book Reviews’ (2014) International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) <> ISSN 1325-9547