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Community Currencies and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Review

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  • Arnaud Michel
  • Marek Hudon

Abstract

Community or complementary currency systems have spread all around the world. Most often, they have been promoted as tools to foster sustainable development albeit they differ in terms of specific objectives. While many case studies have tried to assess the actual impact of these systems, there has been no global analysis summarizing their global impact.This paper aims to fill the gap by exploring whether complementary currencies contribute to the three pillars of sustainable development. We use the systematic review methodology on an original dataset gathering most academic publications published on the topic in English, French and Spanish. Our main findings suggest that community currencies mostly contribute to social sustainability, and that their economic benefits are somewhat limited due to their small scale and the lack of awareness on their scope. Moreover, very few studies explicitly identified environmental outcomes. Finally, this review reveals some limits regarding current methods for impact assessment in this field. Therefore it encourages more standardisation to provide greater accuracy and strengthen the legitimacy of community currencies’ in order to foster their continued development.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Michel & Marek Hudon, 2015. "Community Currencies and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Review," Working Papers CEB 15-012, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/198776
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    Cited by:

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    4. Sarah Zeller, 2020. "Economic Advantages of Community Currencies," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(11), pages 1-11, November.
    5. August Francesc Corrons Giménez & Lluís Garay Tamajón, 2019. "An Analysis of the Process of Adopting Local Digital Currencies in Support of Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-19, February.
    6. Lehtonen, Markku & de Carlo, Laurence, 2019. "Community energy and the virtues of mistrust and distrust: Lessons from Brighton and Hove energy cooperatives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 1-1.
    7. Hyndman, Kyle & Müller, Rudolf, 2020. "The role of incentives in dynamic favour exchange: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 83-96.
    8. Dedeurwaerdere, Tom & De Schutter, Olivier & Hudon, Marek & Mathijs, Erik & Annaert, Bernd & Avermaete, Tessa & Bleeckx, Thomas & de Callataÿ, Charlotte & De Snijder, Pepijn & Fernández-Wulff, Paula &, 2017. "The Governance Features of Social Enterprise and Social Network Activities of Collective Food Buying Groups," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 123-135.
    9. Larue, Louis, 2020. "The Ecology of Money: A Critical Assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).
    10. Georgina M. Gómez, 2019. "Money as an Institution: Rule versus Evolved Practice? Analysis of Multiple Currencies in Argentina," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-14, May.
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