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The Macro-Stability of Swiss WIR-Bank Credits: Balance, Velocity, and Leverage

Author

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  • James Stodder

    (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

  • Bernard Lietaer

    (University of California at Berkeley)

Abstract

Since 1934, the Swiss Wirtschaftsring/Cercle Économique (Economic Circle), now the WIR-Bank, has issued its own currency, not backed by Swiss Francs. Turnover in WIR is countercyclical: firms use it more in a recession. A money-in-the-production-function model implies that this spending arises through larger WIR Balances for larger firms, but greater WIR Velocity for smaller ones. Panel data by industrial sector confirm this pattern, similar to commercial trade credits, a major source of non-bank credit. The countercyclical multiplier on WIR expenditures is highly leveraged, and its impact on the Swiss Economy greater than its turnover would suggest.

Suggested Citation

  • James Stodder & Bernard Lietaer, 2016. "The Macro-Stability of Swiss WIR-Bank Credits: Balance, Velocity, and Leverage," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 58(4), pages 570-605, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:58:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1057_s41294-016-0001-5
    DOI: 10.1057/s41294-016-0001-5
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    complementary currency; community currency; countercyclical;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises

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