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The Signaling Role of Municipal Currencies in Local Development

  • Rajshri Jayaraman
  • Mandar Oak

The last decade has seen the burgeoning of several hundred local community currency institutions in cities across the world. Although residents of these communities claim that local currency promotes local development, how if at all it does so has hitherto been unexplored. This paper argues that the introduction of a municipal currency may serve as a signal of demand for local goods. Where demand uncertainty deters firms from investing in more productive technologies, such a signal improves the chances that technology choice will be optimal. The introduction of a local currency therefore always improves ex-ante efficiency and may lead to ex-post efficiency, with strictly higher levels of productivity and welfare.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-04/cesifo_wp913.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 913.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_913
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  1. Narayana Kocherlakota & Thomas Krueger, 1999. "A Signaling Model of Multiple Currencies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 231-244, January.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Horn, Henrik, 1988. "Infant-Industry Protection Reconsidered: The Case of Informational Barriers to Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 767-87, November.
  3. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
  4. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
  5. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Scholarly Articles 3606235, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
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