Downtown Dollars: Community currency or discount coupon?

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.

Naomi Kaplan Vol 15(2011) A69-77

IJCCR 2011 Kaplan

To cite this article: Kaplan, N. (2011) ‘Downtown Dollars: Community currency or discount coupon?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 69-77 <> ISSN  1325-9547


The Burlington Currency Project: A History

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.

Amy Kirschner  A42-55

To cite this article: Kirschner, A. (2011) ‘The Burlington Currency Project: A History’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 42-55 <> ISSN  1325-9547

An Economic Analysis Of Contemporary Local Currencies In The United States

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 <> ISSN  1325-9547

Community Currency: An Approach To Economic Sustainability In Our Local Bioregion

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.

Natalie Terese Soder Volume 12(2008) A24-52


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 <> ISSN  1325-9547

The Motivations, Engagement, Satisfaction, Outcomes, and Demographics of Time Bank Participants: Survey Findings from a U.S. System

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.

Ed Collom Volume 11(2007) A36-83

IJCCR vol 11 (2007) 3 Collum

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<> ISSN  1325-9547

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 <> ISSN  1325-9547

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 <> ISSN  1325-9547