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