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Community currencies and the quantification of social value in the digital economy

Dini, Paolo (2012) Community currencies and the quantification of social value in the digital economy. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Given the large investments in superfast broadband by the UK government and private broadband providers needed for reaching the outlying areas of the UK, an analysis of possible channels and modes of revenue generation towards the recovery of these investments was performed. This paper focuses on the question of whether societal value and market value can be connected directly. Rather than interpreting this connection as the commodification of social network statistics and user profiles, however, the paper addresses the question: can market value be ‘colonised’ by social value(s)? The tentative answer is encouraging. Adopting a perspective based on a combination of economic anthropology, political economy, and institutional economics, the paper compares the Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS) and the Wirtshaftsring (WIR) system and proposes that the latter seems to scale better than the former because its SME membership has required the WIR economic circle to develop a considerable ‘institutional infrastructure’ which, in turn, is better able to integrate these different forms of value within the same unit of account, store of value, and medium of exchange. In fact, unlike reputational currencies and other similar phenomena, the chief purpose of the WIR is not to mediate non-marketbased modes of peer production, but to support trade. It therefore seems promising as the basis of an ‘open source’ form of e-currency for the digital economy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 15:39
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47349/

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