Complementary currencies: study of the Occitan in Pézenas[Research paper] by Olivier Torrente


Olivier Torrente was part of the “Alternative Management” third year program in HEC in 2010.

Complementary currencies, exchange tools parallel to official currencies and covering a large domain of initiatives, have been growing for the last decades. The development of Internet and the virtual currencies in online video games have made mmore popular this phenomenon, which dates back to the origin of the history of money. Nevertheless, the vast majority of these initiatives have a social goal, not a commercial one: to revive a region, relocate the economy, help communities where medium of exchanges are scarce. In the context of the economic crisis, we wanted to think about this phenomenon, whose supporters assert that it is a systemic solution to the current economics woes. The central argument of these supporters is the resilience that provides complementary currencies to the economy. We have used the work of Ivan Illich, creator of the concepts of radical monopoly and « outil convivial » (conviviality tool), to make an analysis of these monies. The Occitan, a local complementary currency located in Pézenas (Hérault), launched in the beginning of 2010, was the centre of our field study.

Quote article  Olivier Torrente, « Complementary currencies: study of the Occitan in Pézenas », 19 may 2011, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Research paper]

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