Evaluating complementary currencies: from the assessment of multiple social qualities to the discovery of a unique monetary sociality

Article

Abstract

The phenomenon of complementary currencies has experienced in recent years a significant evolution both in terms of the sheer number of initiatives and in terms of their ability to attract the attention of academia, politics and media. The spread of these experiments and the increasing involvement of public institutions have led to a growing demand for evaluation procedures specifically targeted at CCs, both as economic experiments and as public policy initiatives. The task of evaluation confronts the peculiar multidimensional character of complementary currencies. One of the traits that is commonly recognized as a characteristic of CCs is indeed the presence, alongside more strictly economic dimensions, of multiple social dimensions and aims. Some evaluation models therefore attempt to measure—through the identification of multiple variables, and of corresponding indicators—the impacts of complementary currencies in terms of a wide range of expected social or economic objectives. This paper intends to question the sufficiency of similar approaches. We will argue that those approaches risk to overshadow a peculiar form of sociality which may emerge particularly in certain types of complementary currency experiments. The paper highlights the significance of this sociality and the relevance of its analysis for the advancement of evaluation practices in the field of monetary innovation.

Keywords

Complementary currencies Clearing systems Monetary theory Evaluation Social meaning of money 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International University College of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Università Commerciale “L. Bocconi”MilanItaly

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