This paper studies the determinants of the usage of alternative currencies (currencies which exists parallel to the national currency of a country) across countries. We find that monetary stability, financial sector development and a country’s general level of economic development are all positively related to both the likelihood of a country hosting an alternative currency as well to the number of alternative currencies a country is hosting. This suggests that these currencies, in contrast to their historical function, mainly act as a complement to fiat money. We discuss the implications for the role of fiat money in the economy as well as for the welfare effects of alternative currencies.
Damjan Pfajfar, Giovanni Sgro, and Wolf Wagner
To cite this article: Pfajfar, D., Sgro, G. and Wagner, W. (2012) ‘Are Alternative Currencies or a Complement to Fiat Money? Evidence from Cross-Country Data’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 45 – 56 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.004
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
This paper compares two of the most successful community currency systems in the province of Quebec, Canada: l’Accorderie and Le Jardin d’Echange Universel (JEU). The paper compares their founding principles and organisational structures, and their mechanisms and mediums of exchange. While the former is quite well-institutionalised and attempts to operate professionally, ‘within the system’, the latter is a volunteer-run initiative with more ambiguous status. The paper attempts to evalute their impacts, where data is available, and concludes that while both exchange systems have their pros and cons, a definite advantage for l’Accorderie is that its legal status gives them better access to funding which ultimately permits them to offer their members the means by which to form an economic strategy in both the informal economy, through exchanges, and in the formal economy, through microcredit and participating in the monthly buyer’s group. This is particularly important to its poorer members where every dollar saved by making local exchanges can be used to improve their material well-being in the formal economy.
Mathieu Lizotte and Gérard Duhaime Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D47-51
To cite this article: Lizotte, M. and Duhaime, G. (2011) ‘L’Accorderie and Le Jardin Universel (JEU) in Quebec’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 47-51 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.020
A comparative analysis of LETS and Time Dollars seeks to identify their distinctive strengths and shortcomings, makes a plea for collaboration. The piece argues that most of the differences stem from their purpose: LETS is seeking to create an alternative economy to market; Time Dollars are seeking to rebuild what is termed the Core Economy, rooted in family, extended family, neighbors and civil society. While both seek to build community and counter the external costs of the global economy, LETS seeks to do so by returning the world of commerce to a local basis, while Time Dollars expressly seeks to do so by rebuilding the Core Economy, purged of the elements of subordination, discrimination and exploitation that characterized the functioning of that economy in the past. Both have important contributions to make and the challenge is to make sure that future relationships are in cooperation rather than competition.