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Complementary Currencies and Economic Stability

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  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou

Abstract

A complementary currency circulates within an economy alongside the primary currency without attempting to replace it. The Swiss WIR, implemented in 1934 as a response to the discouraging liquidity and growth prospects of the Great Depression, is the oldest and most significant complementary financial system now in circulation. The evidence provided by the long, successful operation of the WIR offers an opportunity to reconsider the creation of a similar system in Greece. The complementary currency is a proven macroeconomic stabilizer--a spontaneous money creator with the capacity to sustain and increase an economy's aggregate demand during downturns. A complementary financial system that supports regional development and employment-targeted programs would be a U-turn toward restoring people's purchasing power and rebuilding Greece's desperate economy.

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  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, 2016. "Complementary Currencies and Economic Stability," Economics Policy Note Archive 16-1, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:levypn:16-1
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    1. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Michalis Nikiforos & Gennaro Zezza, 2014. "Prospects and Policies for the Greek Economy," Economics Strategic Analysis Archive sa_feb_14, Levy Economics Institute.
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