An Empirical Study of the Social Effects of Community Currencies

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

IJCCR 2012 Nakazato Hiramoto

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Time is of the Essence: The Challenges and Achievements of a Swedish Time Banking Initiative

This study focuses on the only existing time banking initiative in Sweden – TidsNätverket i Bergsjön (TNB). It explores the organization’s: 1) challenges, 2) achievements with regard to empowering its participants and creating social capital, as well as 3) if these can be attributed to TNB’s use of time banking. The semi-structured interviews and studies of documentation that were carried out in 2008 have been supplemented with additional information derived from the author’s personal experience of being a member of TNB.  TNB has faced problems concerning the way that the time credit system functions as well as regarding a lack of long term participants, time shortages and segregation among some of those who partake. TNB has empowered its participants and has fostered an increase in social capital, something that can probably partially be explained by its use of time banking. The paper is concluded with some recommendations as well as some general thoughts on the future role of time banking within the Swedish welfare state.

Stefan Molnar A13-22

To cite this article: Molnar, S. (2011) ‘Time is of the Essence: The Challenges and Achievements of a Swedish Time Banking Initiative’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 13-22 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.002