This paper develops a new classification of non-bank currency systems based on a lexical analysis from French-language web data in order to derive an endogenous typology of monetary projects, based on how these currencies are depicted on the internet. The advantage of this method is that it by-passes problematic issues currently found in the literature to uncover a clear classification of non-bank currency systems from exogenous elements. Our textual corpus consists of 320 web pages, corresponding to 1,210 text pages. We first apply a downward hierarchical clustering method to our data, which enables us to endogenously derive five different classes and make distinctions among non-bank currency system and between these and the standard monetary system. Next, we perform a similarity analysis. Our results show that all non-bank currency systems define themselves in relation to the standard monetary system, with the exception of Local Exchange Trading Systems.
Ariane Tichit*, Clément Mathonnat*, Diego Landivar**
To cite this article: Tichit, A., Mathonnat, C., and Landivar, D. (2016) ‘Classifying non-bank currency systems using web data’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 24-40 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547. http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2016.002
The Mutual Credit Currency System, this most radical form of endogenous money, was evaluated and compared with Marx’s Commodity-Money-Commodity requirement. A simple simulation of a small community closed loop economy was used to illustrate the functioning of two types of mutual credit currency systems. The first, dubbed MCSG, behaved according to the specifications and recommendations of the mutual credit currency system’s founding fathers, Riegel and Greco. The second, dubbed the Komoko Monetary System, or abbreviated to KMS, was a sub-type of the mutual credit currency system with some additional restrictions and one additional liberty. The main restriction introduced in the KMS was that it almost exclusively supported the exchange of only newly produced goods and services. The liberty introduced is forecast-based credit allocation. It was shown that the MCSG has an inconsistency that could potentially lead to instability. The restrictions applied within the KMS can provide a remedy for this potential flaw, while at the same time rendering the KMS compliant with Marx’s requirement. The monetary control measures applicable in KMS were discussed, which guarantee robustness and stability and make KMS a true complement to the official fractional reserve banking.
Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies
Carmen Smith, Alan Lewis
University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA27AY, United Kingdom, Email: C.J.Smith@bath.ac.uk; A.Lewis@bath.ac.uk
This paper presents a novel socio-psychological analysis of the motivations and experiences of mutual credit members in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Primary data comprised of interviews and participant observation, supplemented with secondary data analysis of organisation documents, and a review of the literature in psychology, sociology and economics. Group members were motivated to secure personal resilience against hardship, and the personal agency that results from this, along with the experiences of community and cultural identity positioning, motivates engagement. Consequently these groups are defined as cultural communities offering personal resilience to members through informal reciprocity. This approach, which prioritises the social aspects of exchange, has implications for the design of complementary currencies, particularly mutual credit initiatives, and demonstrates the value of engaging with the fields of psychology and sociology in developing interdisciplinary understandings of alternative economic practice.
Complementary currency, mutual credit, sustainability, reciprocity, resilience, community
To cite this article: Smith, C; Lewis, A. (2016) ‘Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 2-23 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2016.001
Timebanking provides an empirical entry point into a better understanding of the discursive strategies used to legitimize alternative currencies. Theoretically this study uses a post-Marxist perspective, particularly the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Methodologically it uses the mixed methodology of a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the websites of 334 timebanks in the United States. Findings include identifying how ideas of strengthening community and social bonds are used by timebanks to construct discursive antagonisms to capitalism. Contributions of this study include extending Laclau and Mouffe’s work on radical political participation to J.K. Gibson-Graham’s conceptualization of economic difference. This study also demonstrates how a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis allows for deeper understanding of counter-hegemonic discursive strategies used by alternative economic exchanges. Suggestions for future research are provided.
Julie Steinkopf Rice
To cite this article: Rice, J. (2014) ‘A Counter-Hegemonic Discourse of Economic Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Timebanking in the United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 1-10 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.001
During the world economic crisis of the 1930s, the United States experienced widespread use of local currency or “scrip”. The most significant form of scrip, both in terms of the longevity and size of the issues, was tax anticipation scrip. This article surveys the varieties of tax anticipation scrip issue during this period, and suggests some applications to non-crisis circumstances. After outlining the general experience with depression-era scrip, this article describes the nature and origins of tax anticipation scrip as a particular form of local currency. It also examines specific local arrangements that affected the successful circulation of such scrip. The American jurisprudence concerning non-national currency is assessed insofar as it puts into legal context scrip issued during the 1930s. The article concludes by relating the significance of the American experience of the 1930s to neo-chartalist interpretations of the origins and functions of money.
To cite this article: Gatch, L. (2012) ‘Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 22-35 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.009
Although there was no single pattern to the use of alternative currency in America during the Great Depression, the arguments used by supporters of scrip often played on common themes. Support for scrip reflected the belief that local resources could be marshaled to combat the economic situation. Although the Depression was a national (and international) crisis, many scrip advocates believed that they would be able to focus improvement within one particular community. Scrip appealed to American notions of self-help and individualism. Even faced with the challenges of the Depression, few Americans were willing to embrace radical change. Advocates of alternative currency had to walk a fine line between emphasizing the innovative possibilities of scrip and reassuring the public that these plans were simply a means to “prime the pump” of an essentially sound economic system.
To cite this article: Elvins, S. (2012) ‘Selling Scrip To America: Ideology, Self-help and the Experiments of the Great Depression’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 14-21 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.008
For two hundred and sixty years the US federal government has claimed that the most democratic money is a scarce form of money. This claim is built off the notion that an abundant supply of money would threaten class relations (the rights of private property) and ultimately the free flow of commerce (capitalist exchange). Since the writing of the federal constitution the government’s focus has always been on creating reliable and abundant supplies of credit. The idea of scarce money and abundant credit has been challenged twice: In the 1860’s by the Greenback Party who claimed the most democratic money is money created by government. The second challenge in the 1980s by the Community Currency movement uniquely focuses not on banks or government instead claiming that democratic money is money created by local communities and/or individuals.
To cite this article: Wainwright, S. (2012) ‘Democratizing Money: The Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 5-13 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.007
This paper presents some key and advanced statistical indicators of time bank participation. Unlike printed community currencies, time banks record their exchanges in databases. Such transaction data enables researchers to evaluate member participation in these networks across time. Nonetheless, there is very little published scholarship employing time bank transaction data. Examples from a U.S. time bank are provided. The suggested indicators are intended to encourage coordinators and scholars to study these networks. Coordinators who track their systems can intervene as necessary. Scholars researching individual time banks can use these metrics to facilitate comparisons of multiple cases in order to better assess the efficacy of time banking.
To cite this article: Collom, E. (2012) ‘Key Indicators of Time Bank Participation: Using Transaction Data for Evaluation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 18-29 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.002
This paper described and evaluates a peer to peer mutual credit system now in operation in the State of Vermont. It is called the VBSR Marketplace and is an innovative partnership between a statewide membership association, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and a currency design and management organization, Vermont Sustainable Exchange (VSE). This project is a significant step forward in the community currency world as it makes participation in a mutual credit system a membership benefit for businesses that belong to an already existing and well-established business association.
Amy Kirschner Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D68-72
To cite this article: Kirschner, A. (2011) ‘A Report from Vermont (USA): The VBSR Marketplace’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 68-72 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.024
The literature on community currencies builds on the idea that communities can create their own currency to maintain the importance of place and build social and cultural capital. Using interviews, questionnaires, and a survey, this case study reports on the ability of one experiment with community currency, Downtown Dollars, a scrip program in Ardmore, Pennsylvania to facilitate relationships, keep wealth local, and invigorate the community with a sense of place and pride. The outcome that Ardmore, through its first experiment with Downtown Dollars, succeeded in adding value to the community and making people feel proud to live and shop in Ardmore is demonstrated. The study points out, however, that while Downtown Dollars met each of the program’s stated goals, it could have succeeded to a greater extent if it had incorporated larger social goals into its strategy from the outset.
To cite this article: Kaplan, N. (2011) ‘Downtown Dollars: Community currency or discount coupon?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 69-77 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.007
Burlington Currency Project (BCP) existed for 10 years in Burlington, Vermont, USA (1997 to 2007) and administered the community currency, Burlington Bread. There were many distinct phases during the life of BCP. It started out as an adhoc group of volunteers and eventually found a level of institutional and city support before closing due to a number of factors. This history attempts to outline the thoughts and choices of the people involved in the project and results they achieved. Primary sources were examined, including meeting minutes, newsletters, directories, personal communications, newspaper articles, interviews, action research and previous classwork done by Amy Kirschner at the University of Vermont.
To cite this article: Kirschner, A. (2011) ‘The Burlington Currency Project: A History’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 42-55 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.005
Since 1991, over 80 communities in the United States introduced locally printed money. It is argued by proponents that community currency systems revitalize local economies by keeping money circulating locally rather than flowing out, but this study is the first known in-depth economic analysis of these systems. Monetary theory and the experience with local currencies in Argentina indicate that in periods of financial instability and high unemployment, local currencies might provide widespread economic benefits. The experience of the United States during the 1990s, however, suggests that local paper currencies do not promote local economic development during periods of economic and financial stability. Seigniorage from local currencies is small, and cities in the United States that attempted local currencies during the 1990s did not experience higher rates of growth in income than other cities. Eighty-five percent of the local paper currency systems initiated in the United States since1991 have become inactive.
Gregory A. Krohn and Alan M. Snyder Volume 12(2008) A53-68
To cite this article: Krohn, G.A. and Snyder, M. (2008) ‘An Economic Analysis Of Contemporary Local Currencies In The United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 12 53-68 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2008.005
Throughout the United States many rural areas face challenges to economic sustainability. Community currency attempts to confront these challenges by ensuring that wealth and resources are maintained within a region. The specific research question investigated in this article is, “Why do individuals participate in community currency movements and does that participation actually promote economic sustainability?” Social identity theory, social exchange theory and the concept of social capital guided the analysis for participation in the Humboldt Exchange. Key informant interviews and the Humboldt Exchange Survey 2008 were methods used to answer the research question. Survey data reveals that 44% of the Humboldt State University is aware of community currency, while 80% are unaware of the Exchange. Qualitative findings propose that individuals participate in the Humboldt Exchange because they have goods and services to exchange with others, whom they identify with, because doing so ensures that a certain amount of wealth and resources are maintained locally. However, as survey data shows, lack of awareness of the Humboldt Exchange essentially prohibits any form of economic sustainability, since this sustainability is only possible through considerable participation in the Exchange.
To cite this article: Soder, N.T. (2008) ‘Community Currency: An Approach To Economic Sustainability In Our Local Bioregion’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 12 24-52 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2008.004
Findings from a comprehensive survey of the membership of a Time Bank in the United States are reported. This system has a total of 505 individual members, 233 of whom responded to the author’s online survey (46.1% response rate). Respondents were asked 193 questions in six categories: motivations, engagement, outcomes, satisfaction, community experience, and demographics. The membership is mostly female, white, and highly educated. Incomes are found to be quite low and members are politically engaged and overwhelmingly liberal. Respondents were motivated to join largely by needs and values-based reasons. This Time Bank has been most successful in allowing participants to act on behalf of the values that they cherish and to give back to their community and help those in need. Implications of the findings are discussed and the survey instrument is provided as a potential resource.
To cite this article: Collom, E. (2007) ‘The Motivations, Engagement, Satisfaction, Outcomes, and Demographics of Time Bank Participants: Survey Findings from a U.S. System’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 11 36-83<www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2007.004
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
For the greater part of the history of money, we humans have used commodities as the basis of our currency systems. In 1971 the world went to a fiat currency system and the problems have increased. During the last 30 years the United States has seen a previously unheard of rate of bank failures. Since the early 70s labor wages have stagnated, corporate taxes have been shifted onto the individual, and the gap between the rich and the poor — countries and individuals — has escalated at similarly unheard of rates. This paper shows why fiat currencies are unworkable, why commodity currencies have also failed and how mutual credit systems may be the answer.
To cite this article: Plinge, J.W. (2001) ‘Commodity Currencies for Fair and Stable International Exchange Rates’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 5 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2001.005