Since 2010 there has been an increasing proliferation of complementary currency systems (CCS) in France and other countries of Europe facing the Euro crisis. These CCS are shaped by the interest in a civic reclaim of the currency and the aspiration for a full-citizenship in which two principles stand out: participation and autonomy. The aims resonated with the expectations of the community currencies in Argentina between 1995 and 2005. This research studied the French CCS with the goal of rethinking the dynamics of social currencies in present Argentina. The study presents a brief overview of the present CCS in Argentina and France, on which fieldwork was done between April and May 2013. Despite differences in the macroeconomic structures and context, the present Argentine CCS may find inspiration in the French experiences, namely the inclusion of various state and financial sector organisations and the strong civic dynamics of the ‘consom-acteur’.
To cite this article: Orzi, R. (2015) ‘French complementary currency systems: exploring contributions to promote social currency in Argentina’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 94-105 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.010
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.
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 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.005
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
This article aims to explore the ways in which Community Currency Schemes (CCS), as markets, are permeated by other influential social orders, in this case that of gender. The paper therefore looks at the way in which gender structures may be reproduced or reflected in these kinds of markets and how they sometimes acquire certain features depending on the CCS in question. The paper is based on a particular case study, the Argentine experience with a CCS – known as the ‘Barter Network’ – and is structured around three main issues. The first analytical section deals with a characteristic of the Barter Network shared by many other CCS: the preponderance of female (or the scarcity of male) participants. Thus, the reasons for the gender composition of the Barter Network are examined. The second section explores the way in which, through its development, this CCS generated its own gendered structures. Hence, the dynamics of certain trade practices which imply differential returns for men and women are examined. Finally, the article considers the degree of empowerment that participation in this sphere may have implied for female participants.
To cite this article: Pereyra, F. (2007) ‘Exploring Gender Divisions In A Community Currency System: The Case Of The Barter Network In Argentina’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 11 98-111 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2007.006
This paper explores the growth of community currencies in Argentina following the financial collapse of 2001 and draws lessons for local economies in developed economies. The paper begins with a brief profile of the Argentinian economy, which is seen to be highly sophisticated and successful. The reasons for the banking crisis of 2001 are then explained, focusing especially on monetarist IMF policies and their disastrous effect on the real economy of Argentina. Information is then given about the nature of the Red Global de Trueque (global barter network), its link to the ecological movement, and its development into a fully fledged system of alternative currencies following the monetary crisis. Problems facing the system as it expanded, and its relationship with local political authorities, and their own alternative currencies are described. Links are then drawn between the problems facing the Argentinian economy in 2001 and those facing many local economies in the UK facing long-term recession, particularly in terms of low levels of monetisation and the low value of the local multiplier. The paper concludes that a local economy with a functioning currency under its control is in a strong position to withstand potential crises in the functioning of the global economy.
To cite this article: Cato, M.S. (2006) ‘Argentina in the Red: What can the UK’s Regional Economies Learn from the Argentinian Banking Crisis?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 10 43-55 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2006.006
Up until now, the vast majority of research on community currencies has focused upon their development in advanced economies. The aim of this short article, however, is to present some evidence on the growth of community currencies outside these western advanced economies. Reporting on the Global Exchange Network in Argentina, this paper shows how in just five years, this has exploded from a neighbourhood group of 20 people to a national network of 500 groups with over 230,000 participants exchanging skills, knowledge, goods and services. In so doing, it shows how “multi-reciprocal exchange”, facilitated not by Argentine Pesos but an alternative local currency, is growing in popularity not only in ‘northern’ advanced economies but also ‘southern’ nations.
To cite this article: DeMeulenaere, S. (2000) ‘Reinventing the Market: Alternative Currencies and Community Development in Argentina’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 4 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2000.004