2012 Special Issue: Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies

Bringing together 17 new research papers from around the world, this special issue celebrates thirty years of community and complementary currencies, and assesses their impacts, potential and challenges. Edited by Jerome Blanc. View the papers individually, using the menu above, or download the whole issue here. IJCCR 2012 Vol 16 Special Issue Complete

Editorial Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies   Jérôme Blanc D1-4
Historical accounts in the U.S.
Democratizing Money:  Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation  Saul Wainwright D5-13
Selling Scrip to America: Ideology, Self-help and the experiments of the Great Depression Sarah Elvins D14-21
Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s Loren Gatch D22-35
theoretical issues
Community Currencies as Integrative Communication Media for Evolutionist Institutional Design  Makoto Nishibe D36-48
A comparison in transaction efficiency between dispersive and concentrated money creation  Nozomi Kichiji and Makoto Nishibe D49-57
Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies?  Hugo Godschalk D58-69
Economic activity without official currency in Greece: The  *  hypothesis Irene Sotiropoulou D70-79
shortcomings and achievements
Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems: four governance systems  Georgina M. Gómez D80-89
Moral Money – The action guiding Impact of Complementary Currencies. A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money.  Christian Thiel D91-96
Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view  Krister Volkmann D97-105
Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy  Molly Scott Cato and Marta Suárez D106-115
Local exchange trade systems in Central European post communist countries Jelínek P., Szalay Zs., Konečný A. D116-123
An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies Hiromi Nakazato and Takeshi Hiramoto D124-135
CC Coupon Circulation and Shopkeepers’ Behaviour: A Case Study of the City of Musashino, Tokyo, Japan Ken-ichi Kurita, Yoshihisa Miyazaki and Makoto Nishibe D136-145
A two-marketplace and two-currency system: A view on business-to-business barter exchange  Melina Young D146-155
prospects and projects
Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes: changes ahead? Hélène Joachain and Frédéric Klopfert D156-168
Trophic currencies: ecosystem modeling and resilient economies Marc Brakken, Preston Austin, Stephanie Rearick and Leander Bindewald D169-175

Editorial 2012 (Volume 16 Special Issue): Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies

Jérôme Blanc  Volume 16 (2012) Special Issue

IJCCR 2012 Blanc

To cite this article: Blanc, J. (2012) ‘Editorial 2012 (Volume 16 Special Issue): Thirty Years of Community and Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 1-4  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.006

 

Trophic currencies: ecosystem modeling and resilient economies

Wealth is limited. We propose that value is infinite. Any currency isolates certain forms of value to transform into wealth, but those other forms of value remain even as they are undervalued. An economic system with a single currency will only recognize a very limited set of activities as valuable. As a consequence, many of the activities that constitute a functional community, and in turn a functional economy, lie outside of the value analysis of our existing economies. In this paper we present a theoretical currency model analogous to trophic food chains. As plants, grazers, and predators all have different perspective on value and operate accordingly, so do similar distinctions exist in society. We suggest that appropriately differentiated currencies from supranational currencies to regional, sectoral and down to timebanking and nonreciprocal exchanges can help better activate the value in the world, empowering communities and economies.

Marc Brakken, Preston Austin, Stephanie Rearick and Leander Bindewald
To cite this article: Brakken, M., Austin, P., Rearick, S. and Bindewald, L. (2012) ‘Trophic currencies: ecosystem modeling and resilient economies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 169-175  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.023

Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes: changes ahead?

Using complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes is a trend that seems to be progressively emerging in Europe. The Belgian Science Policy INESPO Project, which provides the framework for the research presented in this paper, is building on this emerging trend. The aim of the INESPO project is indeed to build new instruments for energy saving policies in the household sector based on the innovative coupling of Complementary Currencies (CC) and Smart Meters (SM). According to the rationale of the project, the new CC-SM instruments should promote behavioural changes in everyday life as well as encourage households to invest in energy efficiency. The idea behind the project is not to miss the opportunity of including an incentive scheme for behavioural change should a significant SM roll-out take place.

In order to gain insights for the design of the CC part of the instrument, a first step was to turn to projects that had in the past already used CC as policy instrument for behavioural change towards sustainability. To this purpose, projects which have pioneered this path in Europe were analysed. However, although this emerging trend for CC systems had not been left unnoticed by academics (see, for instance Seyfang, 2006 for an insightful discussion on the contribution of NU-Spaarpas to sustainable consumption, or Blanc 2010 and Blanc and Fare, 2010 for a system typology), it appeared that, to the best of our knowledge, no taxonomy of their constitutive parameters had been developed yet.

In this paper, we would like to contribute to the research on CC as policy instruments for environmental sustainability by presenting a selection of such CC systems and by proposing a taxonomy of their constitutive parameters. The resulting hierarchical classification of parameters is also intended to serve as a building tool for designing similar CC systems. However, in our view, “going down the bones” of CC systems, as it is done with the taxonomy, is not enough to make such CC systems thrive. Indeed, beyond the systematic list of parameters that will define the global architecture of the system, attention should also be given to “flesh” (e.g. expectations from stakeholders and carriers of the system) and “soul” (e.g. the conceptual framework used to build the system).

Hélène Joachain and Frédéric Klopfert

To cite this article: Joachain, H. and Klopfert, F. (2012) ‘Emerging trend of complementary currencies systems as policy instruments for environmental purposes: changes ahead?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 156-168  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.022

IJCCR 2012 Joachain Klopfert

A two-marketplace and two-currency system: A view on business-to-business barter exchange

This paper is a consideration of the definition of barter credit as a secondary currency. The business-to-business barter exchange and the national economy function as a system comprised of a currency component and a marketplace component. Barter activity including the creation of a medium of exchange is recognized and defined in national legislation of some key jurisdictions, and is defined de jure as a part of the national economy. The barter credit is thus de facto defined as a currency secondary to the national currency which is the primary currency. I consider three points: 1. The rule of “fair market value” guides behaviour in the barter exchange, 2. The option for business to operate in both the barter exchange and the national economy is a mechanism linking the two, 3. The barter exchange functions in such a way that there can be anti-deflationary dynamics in the region, as articulated by Stodder (2009).

Melina Young

To cite this article: Young, M. (2012) ‘A two-marketplace and two-currency system: A view on business-to-business barter exchange ’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 146-155  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.021

IJCCR 2012 Young

CC Coupon Circulation and Shopkeepers’ Behaviour: A Case Study of the City of Musashino, Tokyo, Japan

This article introduces the history of community currencies in Japan, and examines the successes and remaining problems of the community currency coupons which are currently gaining such popularity. As a rule, in Japan, only shopkeepers can exchange community currency coupons for the national currency. Therefore, in order to expand a currency’s circulation and revive the community, each shopkeeper should use the community currency actively without saving or cashing in it immediately. Shopkeepers’ behaviour become crucial for circulation. This article will try to investigate the relationship between community currency coupon circulation and shopkeepers’ behaviour. We treat community currency coupon used in Tokyo’s Musashino district as a case and use a questionnaire-based method to examine the relationship. The research makes it clear that shopkeepers’ comprehension level, psychological resistance, and accounting procedure have a substantial effect on community currency coupon reuse versus redemption.

 Ken-ichi Kurita*, Yoshihisa Miyazaki* and Makoto Nishibe

To cite this article: Kurita, K., Miyazaki, Y. and Nishibe, M. (2012) ‘CC Coupon Circulation and Shopkeepers’ Behaviour: A Case Study of the City of Musashino, Tokyo, Japan’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 136-145  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.020

IJCCR 2012 Kurita Miyazaki Nishibe

An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies

This paper introduces the concept of social support as a social effect of community currencies and explores different ways of measuring it. We used a questionnaire survey and social network analysis of transactional records to conduct a comparative case study of two community currency organizations: Ichi-Muraoka in Japan and Bytesring Stockholm (BYTS) in Sweden. Our analysis yielded the following results with respect to social support provided by community currencies: (1) while the transfer of social support by community currencies does not affect the quality of life of all users in a significant way, it makes users aware that social support can be part of their lives if they become conscious of it; and (2) community currencies are peripheral and supplementary support sources for many local residents. These results show that community currencies are effective as a system to provide social support to local residents.

Hiromi Nakazato and Takeshi Hiramoto

To cite this article: Nakazato, H. and Hiramoto, T. (2012) ‘An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 124-135  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.019

IJCCR 2012 Nakazato Hiramoto

Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries

This paper gives information about Local Exchange Trade Systems in the region of former Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary. The transition to a market economy proceeded in different ways in these countries, but similar histories in the last century (communism under Soviet influence) led to only small differences among the countries in the level of motivation and power of their civil societies – and subsequently, in the vitality of LETS circles. In the Czech Republic, the first LETS circle was established in 1999; however, none is active at present. Similarly, in the Slovak Republic, out of 10 to 15 LETS circles formed between 2000 and 2005, only one works at the present time. LETS in Poland developed in the early 90’s but soon declined even though a few groups are still active today. LETS in Hungary was very passive, but there have been new signs and initiatives since 2004.  The possible reasons for such LETS developments in the so-called Visegrad countries are also discussed in this paper.

Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A

To cite this article: Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A. (2012) ‘Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 116-123  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.018

IJCCR 2012 Jelinek

Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy

The Stroud Pound is one of the local currencies to be set up in recent years by UK-based Transition Towns. The paper details the first two years of the life of the Stroud Pound; both its authors were closely involved in the development of the currency and the paper is therefore a view ‘from the inside’ rather than a disconnected academic account. The Stroud Pound grew out of Transition Stroud, a community-led response to climate change and peak oil. It therefore has a design that seeks to build greater resilience and strength into the local economy. In this paper the researchers use the local currency as a research tool to explore issues such as: the size of the local multiplier; extent of trade between local producers; the dynamics of the local economy; and the diverse motivations of scheme participants. The paper includes: an account of the literature on community currencies, especially the work of Silvio Gesell; a brief account of Stroud and the results of a survey conducted amongst Stroud-based businesses as part of the establishment of the Stroud Pound; an account of the first year of the Stroud Pound and its impact on the local economy.

Molly Scott Cato and Marta Suárez

To cite this article: Scott Cato, M. and Suárez, M. (2012) ‘Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 106-115  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.017

IJCCR 2012 Scott Cato Suarez

Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view

According to conventional wisdom, money serves the following functions: it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. However, if we broaden our perspective, we might conceive of money also as a medium of communication, as a means to either change society, or to preserve a community in the sense of “resilience” against outside threat. It is this idea, which the following article wants to further explore, against the background of the newly established regional currencies (Regionalwährungen) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. If we are not solely occupied with the financial stability of a currency, but with how a currency can contribute to the stability and cohesion of a community and of society as a whole, then we are well advised to look at accompanying structures, physical and social, which may be subsumed under the notion of “solidarity economy”.

Krister Volkmann

To cite this article: Volkmann, K, (2012) ‘Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 97-105  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.016

IJCCR 2012 Volkmann

Moral Money: A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money

This paper investigates a special form of a community currency, the German Regiogeld System, which is a private monetary system with a regional validity and a non-profit-agenda. The focus of the sociological study is on how this special money effects actions of consumers. After some general information to the Regiogeld system, it therefore describes why people use this limited and costly form of money at all, how exactly they use it and for what special patterns of usage they adopt the regional money as their own. As a result it can be demonstrated that money is evaluated concerning its functionality and its symbolism. Since Regiogeld attempts to be an efficient monetary system and a moral symbol at once, it develops a structural problem which restricts the Regiogeld’ expansion.

Christian Thiel

To cite this article: Thiel, C. (2012) ‘Moral Money – The action guiding Impact of Complementary Currencies: A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 91-96  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.015

IJCCR 2012 Thiel

Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems

The Redes de Trueque (RT) thrived during the economic crisis of 2001 in Argentina but fell sharply after 2002. Some networks, however, withstood the downfall better than others. These differences in the decline cannot be attributed to external factors, which were basically the same across the Trueque, but to the various governance systems that the leaders structured as the scheme grew in scale and sophistication. Following an institutionalist perspective, this article assesses the sustainability of the governance systems in the RT in relation to input legitimacy, rule enforcement, resource synergy and transaction and organisational costs. None of the governance systems structured in the Trueque in Argentina scored highly on the four accounts. The largest networks managed to be sustainable by resorting to a hierarchical structure that violates the principles of participation and self-reliance of complementary currency systems. In the other extreme, the smallest ones achieved sustainability but with a low economic impact.

Georgina M. Gómez

To cite this article: Gómez, G. (2012) ‘Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems: four governance systems’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 80-90  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.014

IJCCR 2012 Gomez

Economic Activity Without Official Currency in Greece: The * Hypothesis

Historical study has not been within the scope of the research project titled “Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”. However, this proved to be a deficiency of the project and the present paper is an attempt to formulate a hypothesis, with the intention to see at least within such a historical perspective, how scheme members with both their discourse and action challenge our perceptions about important issues in economics. There is no name or title for this hypothesis (yet). We believe that it is too early to name it. It seems that the schemes studied are the surface of an economy or economies which never ceased to exist, as both material spaces and experiences in people’s histories. It is about viewing all this activity as setting a different agenda for economics than what capitalist and anti-capitalist discourse can offer.

Irene Sotiropoulou

To cite this article: Sotiropoulou, I. (2012) ‘Economic Activity Without Official Currency in Greece: The * Hypothesis’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 70-79  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.013

IJCCR 2012 Sotiropolou

Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies?

Currency with demurrage is a theoretical concept for a reform of the monopolistic issued state money originated by Silvio Gesell. Until now it has never been implemented the way it was originally intended. Based on the theory of Irving Fisher and the practical experiences during the Great Depression a demurrage-based CC could be helpful as a temporary steering instrument during economic depressions to stimulate economic activity by increasing the velocity of money (of CC and indirectly of conventional money), probably only if issued state-wide. The level of the demurrage-rate of the local issued depreciated money seems to be (based on the available data) not crucial for the economic results within the meaning of usage, turnover and velocity.

Hugo Godschalk

To cite this article: Godschalk, H. (2012) ‘Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 58-69  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.012

IJCCR 2012 Godschalk

A comparison in transaction efficiency between dispersive and concentrated money creation

In this paper, we have compared concentrated creation of money with dispersive creation of money, and try to show, by using the results of computer simulation, the advantage of the method of dispersive money creation embodied into LETS in comparison with concentrated money creation. However, both ways of money creation have particular merits and demerits. We also estimate the effect of different rules for restricting the upper limits of debits of all participants in LETS on the rate of realized transactions in order to prevent free riding. First, we give an overview of LETS. Second, we show, using a computer simulation, the advantage of the method of dispersive money creation compared to concentrated money creation. Finally, we have demonstrated the validity of the ‘transaction indexation method’ to set the rules of determining the upper limit of debits in LETS to avoid free riding and to enhance transaction efficiency

Nozomi Kichiji and Makoto Nishibe

IJCCR 2012 Kichiji Nishibe

To cite this article: Kichiji, N. and Nishibe, M. (2012) ‘A comparison in transaction efficiency between dispersive and concentrated money creation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 49-57 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.011

IJCCR 2012 Elvins

Community Currencies as Integrative Communication Media for Evolutionist Institutional Design

The present article shows that community currencies (CCs) are interpreted as integrative communication media with dual aspects of money and language, and that, since money is the most indispensable medium of the modern capitalistic market economy, CCs should be strategic targets for evolutionist institutional design in order to solve current social and economic problems caused by global capitalism.

In order to theoretically view the bidirectional effects caused by alteration of money as a platform institution in its evolutionary perspective, we introduce some basic concepts such as replicators and interactors and illustrate the micro-meso-macro loop model by using those concepts. Then we elucidate the significance and possibility of evolutionist institutional design in policy applications of the theoretical ideas put forward. Lastly, we investigate why and how CCs can be strategic platform media in evolutionist institutional design.

Makoto Nishibe

To cite this article: Nishibe, M. (2012) ‘Community Currencies as Integrative Communication Media for Evolutionist Institutional Design’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 36-48  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.010

IJCCR 2012 Nishibe

Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s

During the world economic crisis of the 1930s, the United States experienced widespread use of local currency or “scrip”. The most significant form of scrip, both in terms of the longevity and size of the issues, was tax anticipation scrip. This article surveys the varieties of tax anticipation scrip issue during this period, and suggests some applications to non-crisis circumstances. After outlining the general experience with depression-era scrip, this article describes the nature and origins of tax anticipation scrip as a particular form of local currency. It also examines specific local arrangements that affected the successful circulation of such scrip. The American jurisprudence concerning non-national currency is assessed insofar as it puts into legal context scrip issued during the 1930s. The article concludes by relating the significance of the American experience of the 1930s to neo-chartalist interpretations of the origins and functions of money.

Loren Gatch

To cite this article: Gatch, L. (2012) ‘Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 22-35  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.009

IJCCR 2012 Gatch

Selling Scrip to America: Ideology, Self-help and the experiments of the Great Depression

Although there was no single pattern to the use of alternative currency in America during the Great Depression, the arguments used by supporters of scrip often played on common themes.  Support for scrip reflected the belief that local resources could be marshaled to combat the economic situation.  Although the Depression was a national (and international) crisis, many scrip advocates believed that they would be able to focus improvement within one particular community.  Scrip appealed to American notions of self-help and individualism.  Even faced with the challenges of the Depression, few Americans were willing to embrace radical change.  Advocates of alternative currency had to walk a fine line between emphasizing the innovative possibilities of scrip and reassuring the public that these plans were simply a means to “prime the pump” of an essentially sound economic system.

Sarah Elvins

To cite this article: Elvins, S. (2012) ‘Selling Scrip To America: Ideology, Self-help and the Experiments of the Great Depression’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 14-21  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.008

Democratizing Money: Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation

For two hundred and sixty years the US federal government has claimed that the most democratic money is a scarce form of money. This claim is built off the notion that an abundant supply of money would threaten class relations (the rights of private property) and ultimately the free flow of commerce (capitalist exchange). Since the writing of the federal constitution the government’s focus has always been on creating reliable and abundant supplies of credit. The idea of scarce money and abundant credit has been challenged twice: In the 1860’s by the Greenback Party who claimed the most democratic money is money created by government. The second challenge in the 1980s by the Community Currency movement uniquely focuses not on banks or government instead claiming that democratic money is money created by local communities and/or individuals.

Saul Wainwright

To cite this article: Wainwright, S. (2012) ‘Democratizing Money: The Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 5-13  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.007

IJCCR 2012 Wainwright