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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Common good; Commons; Complementary currencies; Community currencies; Cryptocurrencies; Ethics in finance;

    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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