Giacomo Bazzani

Money as a social tie. From money as commodity to money for cooperation

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Money is traditionally understood as a «neutral veil» over commodities useful to facilitate exchanges. Economic theories and monetary policies usually treat it as a commodity like any other, whose price is determined by the meeting of supply and demand. This conception of money as a neutral universal equivalent facilitates the construction of ever-widening markets capable even of transcending the nation state (e.g. the dollar and the euro) and fostering competitive dynamics within and outside states. The empirical analysis of the functioning of complementary currencies shows instead how money can have different characteristics capable of fostering a broad spectrum of social effects not reducible to increased competition. In particular, the analysis dwells on the effects of Sardex complementary currency, created in Sardinia in 2009, in fostering cooperation between entrepreneurs. Considering money as a mediator of social interaction, it is possible to observe how it contributes to building specific forms of social ties. The increase in competition and the depersonalisation of social relations, observed by classical sociologists, may therefore not be the only effects of money: innovative forms of money may instead foster the capacity for cooperation and the re-personalisation of social relations


  • Money Supply
  • Credit
  • Money Multipliers
  • E71 - Role and Effects of Psychological
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
  • O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences
  • Diffusion Processes
  • O35: Social Innovation


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