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
The aim of the Eco-Pesa programme was to promote and facilitate environmental social service work and economic development in impoverished informal settlements (slums) through the innovative use of a complementary currency. This complementary currency, called Eco-Pesa, was backed by the national currency and introduced through the registration of 75 small local businesses, price discounting, community service work, and community events in three neighbouring informal settlements in Kongowea, Kenya. An estimated $4,176 USD worth of trading was facilitated through the circulation of only $352 USD worth of Eco-Pesa. The use of Eco-Pesa resulted in a 22% average increase in participating businesses’ incomes, the collection of 20 tonnes of waste, and the creation of three youth-led community tree nurseries. The programme was cost effective (only $4,698 USD was spent over seven months), and provided an improved mechanism for tracking development funding and increasing overall accountability. This paper presents a study of the programme, describing seven months of design, implementation and results. The successes of the Eco-Pesa programme demonstrated in these findings, indicate that complementary currencies are a valuable tool to promote development, warranting further implementation and research.
William O. Ruddick A1-12
This article looks at whether or not Community Currency Systems form part of an alternative development agenda when analyzed through the lenses of feminism and associationalism. It begins by differentiating Alternative Development, as a static concept, from alternative development which is only comprehensible in its current context and form. The latter, according to the author, must involve a process of self-empowerment, a deepening of democracy and embody strong sustainability. A case study is provided of Thailand’s first CCS, Bia Kud Chum, and its encounter with state authorities. Using this example, it is shown that CCS and feminism share a recognition of the shortcomings of economic dualism and the desire to re-structure market values. Risks from this vantage point include the creation of new gender-biased institutions and an increase in women’s double burden. The associationalist analysis of CCS highlights the system’s capacity to serve as a vehicle for decentralization and potential in building networks central to economic success. However CCS proponents must be wary of co-optation into a programme which threatens the redistributive role of the state in the South. In the conclusion, it is argued that the Bia Kud Chum system was able to initiate a process of self-empowerment and encourage a deepening of democracy, and should, therefore, be considered part of an alternative development agenda.
Jeff Powell Volume 6(2002) 1
To cite this article: Powell, J. (2002) ‘Development at the Conjuncture of Feminism and Associationalism’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 6 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2002.004
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.
Stephen DeMeulenaere Volume 4(2000) 3
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
Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS) are a form of not-for-profit community enterprise which have rapidly spread throughout the English-speaking industrialised nations during the 1990s. A LETS is a local association whose members list their offers of, and requests for, work in a directory and members then exchange this activity valued in a local unit of currency. However, little is known about them. Drawing upon the results of a questionnaire sent to all Australian LETS in April 1995, this paper evaluates their contributions to community development. Finding that LETS are to some extent rebuilding more localised economies, reconstructing local social networks and helping the unemployed engage in productive activity, recommendations are made about how these achievements could be further improved. However, and on a more cautionary note, questions are raised about not only the effectiveness of, but also the reasons for, the state’s support of LETS in Australia.
Colin C Williams Volume 1(1997) 3
To cite this article: Williams, C. (1997) ‘Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS) in Australia: a new tool for community development?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.002