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  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.004

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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

ijccr-2015-fare-freitas-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  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.002

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  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547  http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.017

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 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.002

IJCCR 2014 Boik

Appendix

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  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.001

IJCCR 2014 Rice

Complementary currency and its impact on the economy

Green-EconomyThe paper aims to show the impact that a complementary currency may have on a national economy from a theoretical point of view. A system dynamics model is created to describe the mechanics of money issuance in capitalist economies as well as in economies where there is no inside money. As an example, the first outcomes of a barter network implemented in 2008 by the STRO foundation in El Salvador (called Punto Transacciones) are presented and analyzed. Finally, using data from a complementary currency experience in El Salvador the spending multiplier is calculated. The main result shows that there is a greater spending multiplier in digital community currencies systems than in regular money market. Although the magnitude of PT network is still negligible from a macroeconomic point of view, the result is a desired outcome which may help to cushion the impact of macroeconomic shocks on labour market, contributing to stabilize aggregate demand.

Octavio Groppa

To cite this article: Groppa, O. (2013) ‘Complementary currency and its impact on the economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 45 – 57  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.005

IJCCR 2013 Groppa

Is A Global Virtual Currency With 
Universal Acceptance Feasible?

As digital goods and services become an integral part of modern day society, the demand for a standardized and ubiquitous form of digital currency increases. And it is not just about digital goods; the adoption of electronic and mobile commerce has not reached its expected level at all parts of the globe as expected. One of the main reasons behind that is the lack of a universal digital as well as virtual currency. Many countries in the world have failed to realize the potential of e-commerce, let alone m-commerce, because of rigid financial regulations and apparent disorientation & gap between monetary stakeholders across borders and continents. Digital currency which is internet-based, non-banks issued and circulated within a certain range of networks has brought a significant impact on the development of e-commerce. The research and analysis of this paper would focus on the feasibility of the operation of a digital currency and its economic implications.

Sowmyan Jegatheesan, Sabbir Ahmed, Austin Chamney and Nour El-kadri

To cite this article: Jegatheesan, S., Ahmed, S., Chamney, A. and El-kadri, N. (2013) ‘Is A Global Virtual Currency With Universal Acceptance Feasible?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 17 (A) 26-44  <www.ijccr.net>  ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2013.004

IJCCR 2013 Jegatheesan