University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EP, Glb36@cam.ac.uk
There is evidence that increased levels of community engagement and social participation can improve population health. Community currencies such as Time Credits are one way to support and encourage people to be more involved in their local community. As a result, they have attracted investment by local governments in the UK, with the hope of finding new ways to work with deprived communities, improve individual outcomes that lead to better health, and reduce the use of public services at a time of financial austerity.
The aim of this research was to evaluate the health related outcomes of volunteering through Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The conceptual model developed during the research shows how Time Credits were expected to influence some of the social determinants of health and, by doing so, enhance health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. This in depth empirical study shows the potential of such activity to support pathways to better health, but equally demonstrates the challenges in quantifying such outcomes and in evidencing any reduction in the use of public services as a result.
To cite this article: Gemma Burgess (2017) ‘What is the potential for community currencies to deliver positive public health outcomes? Case study of Time Credits in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, UK’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2017 Volume 21 (Summer) 19-32 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2017.006
Lund University, Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Dept. of Business Administration, School of Economics and Management; Sweden; email@example.com
Building on empirical material from 6 months ethnographically inspired fieldwork in Málaga Común, a mutual credit community currency in Southern Spain, the paper uses Ostrom’s (1991) theoretical framework on common-pool resources to look deeper into the provision and appropriation dynamics in the currency scheme. Particular attention is put into the sources of inequality in members’ provision and appropriation capacities. Findings suggest that, embedded as community currencies are in the conventional economy, the sources of inequality from the conventional economy are also brought into the community currency. More particularly, private ownership and specialised complex skills lie behind members’ unequal capacity to earn community currency in relation to their spending needs. The paper ends by outlining some elements that would need attention when designing the governance institutions of community currency schemes that aim to overcome the inequality brought in by these currencies’ embeddedness in the conventional economy.
Mutual credit currency, inequality, Ostrom, resource system vs. flow of resource units; provision/appropriation ratio, common-pool resource.
To cite this article: Barinaga, E (2019) ‘Transforming or reproducing an unequal economy? Solidarity and inequality in a community currency’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 23 Issue 2 (Summer 2019) 2-16; http://www.ijccr.net; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2019.010