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Community Currencies and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Review

Arnaud Michel and Marek Hudon

No 15-012, Working Papers CEB from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

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.

Pages: 36 p.
Date: 2015-04-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-hme
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