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The New Barter Economy: An Appraisal of Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS)

Colin C. Williams
Journal of Public Policy
Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jan. - Apr., 1996), pp. 85-101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4007641
Page Count: 17
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The New Barter Economy: An Appraisal of Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS)
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Abstract

A new form of barter economy is emerging in many industrial nations. People are exchanging goods and services through Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS). These are local associations whose members list their offers of, and requests for, goods and services in a directory and then exchange them priced in a local unit of currency. Using a United Kingdom case study of Totnes LETS, this paper presents a preliminary appraisal of their economic, social equity and community-building objectives. It finds that although LETS are fulfilling these objectives, achievements could be substantially improved with some alterations in public policy towards LETS.

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