Local Currency Loans and Grants: Comparative Case Studies of Ithaca HOURS and Calgary Dollars

This study examines the rationale(s) that recipients have for participating in HOURS-based local currency loan and grant programs. Case studies, based on interviews of both loan and grant recipients and system coordinators, of Ithaca HOURS and Calgary Dollars local currency systems (LCSs) are presented here. Biggart and Delbridge’s (2004) Systems of Exchange typology, which allows for both instrumental (“means calculated”) and substantive (“ends calculated”) bases of rational economic action, provides the theoretical framework for this study. Insight into the rationales that individuals have for seeking a loan or grant can aid HOURS-based LCS coordinators in the development and promotion of these programs. This study also introduces local currency loans and grants to the social science community while demonstrating the applicability of Biggart and Delbridge’s (2004) typology to an understanding of LCSs and similar economic exchange networks characterized by both instrumental and substantive rationales.

Jeff Mascornick Volume 11(2007) A1-22

IJCCR vol 11 (2007) 1 Mascornick

To cite this article: Mascornick, J. (2007) ‘Local Currency Loans and Grants: Comparative Case Studies of Ithaca HOURS and Calgary Dollars’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 11 1-22 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2007.002

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Helping Everyone Have PLENTY: Addressing Distribution and Circulation in an HOURS-based Local Currency System

This paper summarizes research conducted by the authors who served as the ad-hoc Disbursement Task Force created by NCPlenty, Inc., the non-profit managing agency for a local currency system in central North Carolina, USA. NCPlenty, Inc. began printing a scrip-based local currency called the PLENTY in October 2002. The PLENTY, or Piedmont Local EcoNomy Tender, is based on the Ithaca HOURS currency and has faced circulation and distribution issues similar to other HOURS-based systems in the US. While at the start of the PLENTY’s first year of circulation the number of participating individuals and businesses nearly doubled and a vibrant exchange network existed, by the end of this year the growth seemed to plateau rather than continue to expand. This paper examines the hindrances to distribution and circulation within the PLENTY community economy, offers proposals for improving the currency, and relates the lessons of the PLENTY to other complementary currency endeavors.

Jonathan Lepofsky and Lisa K. Bates Volume 9(2005) 1

IJCCR vol 9 (2005) 1 Lepofsky and Bates

To cite this article: Lepofsky, J. and Bates, L.K. (2005) ‘Helping Everyone Have PLENTY: Addressing Distribution and Circulation in an HOURS-based Local Currency System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 9 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2005.002

The Social and Cultural Capital of Community Currency, An Ithaca HOURS Case Study Survey

In this article the authors report and analyze the data from an interview survey of 42 Ithaca HOURS community currency users. The theoretical context for the study is social capital, and the survey seeks to answer questions centering around the extent the interviewees participate in networks of reciprocity, trust and support. The survey results indicate that the respondents highly value their experiences buying and selling with HOURS, and that it does in fact function as a social capital resource for them. Nevertheless, on average, the respondents’ use of HOURS was modest at best, with $300 to $350, exchanged in the 12 months prior to the survey. Since the exchange in HOURS is dwarfed by the mainstream economy’s circulation of federal dollars, and since the respondents use of HOURS, on average, is only a very small part of their disposable income, the authors sought the significance of the HOURS economy in cultural and symbolic rather than material terms.

Jeffrey Jacob, Merlin Brinkerhoff, Emily Jovic and Gerald Wheatley Volume 8(2004) 4

IJCCR vol 8 (2004) 4 Jacob et al 2

To cite this article: Jacob, J.; Brinkerhoff, M.; Jovic, E.; Wheatley, G. (2004) ‘The Social and Cultural Capital of Community Currency, An Ithaca HOURS Case Study Survey’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 8 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2004.002

HOUR Town – Paul Glover and the Genesis and Evolution of Ithaca HOURS

Ithaca HOURS are, arguably, the most successful of the local currency experiments of the last two decades. At the height of their popularity in the mid-1990s, perhaps as many as 2,000 of Ithaca and region’s 100,000 residents were buying and selling with HOURS. The high profile of HOURS in the Ithaca community has prompted a series of articles, television news segments and documentaries, primarily for the popular media. Though constituting valuable documentation of an intrinsically interesting phenomenon, these reports has tended to be fragmentary and ahistorical, thus lacking in context in terms of the longitudinal evolution of the Ithaca region’s political economy. The present study attempts to remedy these lacunae in our understanding of the genesis and evolution of Ithaca HOURS by presenting a systematic account of Ithaca’s experiment with local currencies over the past decade and a half through the person of Paul Glover, the individual most closely associated with the founding and developing of HOURS. The article follows the activist career of Glover through the end of 2003, thus placing HOURS in the context of Ithaca’s activist community’s efforts to push the local polity and economy in the direction of ecological sustainability.

Jeffrey Jacob, Merlin Brinkerhoff, Emily Jovic and Gerald Wheatley Volume 8(2004) 3

IJCCR vol 8 (2004) 3 Jacob et al

To cite this article: Jacob, J.; Brinkerhoff, M.; Jovic, E.; Wheatley, G. (2004) ‘HOUR Town – Paul Glover and the Genesis and Evolution of Ithaca HOURS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 8 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2004.003