Price setting mechanisms in 
complementary currencies in Argentina’s Redes de Trueque

Complementary currency systems are based on principles of solidarity and contestation of the regular currency systems, so their prices may differ from those in the regular economy. This study aims to explore that assumption and discusses in what ways and for what reasons some prices are different. Based on data collected in Buenos Aires during 2004, it researched the ways in which various prices in the Argentine Redes de Trueque followed those in the regular economy or internal considerations of the system, as relative supply and demand, production costs, and ethical and institutional factors. It found substantial evidence against the assumption that prices in the CCS were a direct conversion of prices in pesos. Each node was organised as a price network in which critical prices -namely those of groceries bought in pesos- were used as reference for other prices. The result was a power asymmetry in favour of those who had pesos to get supplies in supermarkets, but some traders refrained from obtaining the maximum profit and preferred to ask a “fair price”. Notions of fairness and shared values, however, varied widely, like the effectiveness of the institutional controls put in place to keep prices down.

Georgina M. Gomez

IJCCR 2015 Gomez

To cite this article: Gomez, G. (2015) ‘Price Setting Mechanisms in Complementary Currencies in Argentina’s Redes de Trueque’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 42-52 <> ISSN  1325-9547


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