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Money and the Commons: An Investigation of Complementary Currencies and their Ethical Implications

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  • Camille Meyer
  • Marek Hudon

Abstract

The commons is a concept increasingly used with the promise of creating new collective wealth. In the aftermath of the economic and financial crises, finance and money have been criticized and redesigned to serve the collective interest. In this article, we analyze three types of complementary currency (CC) systems: community currencies, inter-enterprise currencies, and cryptocurrencies. We investigate whether these systems can be considered as commons. To address this question, we use two main theoretical frameworks that are usually separate: the “new commons” in organization studies and the “common good” in business ethics. Our findings show that these monetary systems and organizations may be considered as commons under the “common good” framework since they promote the common interest by creating new communities. Nevertheless, according to the “new commons” framework, only systems relying on collective action and self-management can be said to form commons. This allows us to suggest two new categories of commons: the “social commons”, which fit into both the “new commons” and the “common good” frameworks, and the “commercial commons”, which fit the “common good” but not the “new commons” framework. This research advances a new conceptualization of the commons and of the ethical implications of complementary currencies.

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  • Camille Meyer & Marek Hudon, 2018. "Money and the Commons: An Investigation of Complementary Currencies and their Ethical Implications," Working Papers CEB 18-019, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/270861
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    1. Simon Cornée & Madeg Le Guernic & Damien Rousselière, 2020. "Governing Common-Property Assets: Theory and Evidence from Agriculture," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 691-710, November.
    2. Jean-Baptiste Desquilbet & Etienne Farvaque, 2022. "'As one dies, so dies the other' ? On local complementary currencies as two-sided platforms," Working Papers halshs-03518592, HAL.
    3. Meyer, Camille, 2020. "The commons: A model for understanding collective action and entrepreneurship in communities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 35(5).
    4. Dung Q. Tran & Larry C. Spears, 2020. "Servant-Leadership and Community: Humanistic Perspectives from Pope John XXIII and Robert K. Greenleaf," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 117-131, July.
    5. Jennifer Lees-Marshment & Aimee Dinnin Huff & Neil Bendle, 2020. "A Social Commons Ethos in Public Policy-Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 761-778, November.
    6. Dung Q. Tran & Larry C. Spears, 0. "Servant-Leadership and Community: Humanistic Perspectives from Pope John XXIII and Robert K. Greenleaf," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-15.
    7. Louis Larue, 2022. "The case against alternative currencies," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 21(1), pages 75-93, February.
    8. García-Monleón, Fernando & Danvila-del-Valle, Ignacio & Lara, Francisco J., 2021. "Intrinsic value in crypto currencies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    9. Ana Cristina O. Siqueira & Benson Honig & Sandra Mariano & Joysi Moraes, 2020. "A Commons Strategy for Promoting Entrepreneurship and Social Capital: Implications for Community Currencies, Cryptocurrencies, and Value Exchange," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 711-726, November.
    10. Ana María Peredo & Helen M. Haugh & Marek Hudon & Camille Meyer, 2020. "Mapping Concepts and Issues in the Ethics of the Commons: Introduction to the Special Issue," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 659-672, November.
    11. Flori, Andrea, 2019. "News and subjective beliefs: A Bayesian approach to Bitcoin investments," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 336-356.
    12. Emmanouela Mandalaki & Marianna Fotaki, 2020. "The Bodies of the Commons: Towards a Relational Embodied Ethics of the Commons," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 745-760, November.
    13. James R. Barth & Hemantha S. B. Herath & Tejaswini C. Herath & Pei Xu, 2020. "Cryptocurrency valuation and ethics: a text analytic approach," Journal of Management Analytics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 367-388, July.
    14. Laura Albareda & Alejo Jose G. Sison, 2020. "Commons Organizing: Embedding Common Good and Institutions for Collective Action. Insights from Ethics and Economics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(4), pages 727-743, November.
    15. Alexandra Lenis Escobar & Ramón Rueda López & Miguel Ángel Solano-Sánchez & María de los Baños García-Moreno García, 2020. "The Role of Complementary Monetary System as an Instrument to Innovate the Local Financial System," JOItmC, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-19, November.
    16. Louis Larue & Camille Meyer & Marek Hudon & Joakim Sandberg, 2022. "The Ethics of Alternative Currencies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/341622, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    17. Alexandra Lenis Escobar & Ramón Rueda López & Jorge E. García Guerrero & Enrique Salinas Cuadrado, 2020. "Design of Strategies for the Implementation and Management of a Complementary Monetary System Using the SWOT-AHP Methodology," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(17), pages 1-23, August.
    18. Elizabeth A. Minton & Soo Jiuan Tan & Siok Kuan Tambyah & Richie L. Liu, 2022. "Drivers of Sustainability and Consumer Well-Being: An Ethically-Based Examination of Religious and Cultural Values," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 175(1), pages 167-190, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Common good; Commons; Complementary currencies; Community currencies; Cryptocurrencies; Ethics in finance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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