Manufacturing Trust: Community Currencies and the Creation of Social Capital

Manufacturing Trust: Community Currencies and the Creation of Social Capital In this study I examine whether an innovative government program in Ichikawa, Japan has been successful in increasing the level of generalized interpersonal trust in the community by rewarding civic participation by local citizens. Japan has sponsored the development of a number of “community currency” programs at the local level that are designed to create social capital. A community currency is a local “money” that is only useable within a neighborhood or town. In a typical community currency program, a town rewards civic volunteers with credits to barter with other citizens, use at participating stores, or pay for town services. These programs are specifically designed to stimulate generalized trust by rewarding civic engagement and encouraging social interaction. I evaluate whether the new Tekona community currency program in Ichikawa, Japan has been successful in raising levels of trust among participants, as compared to a randomly selected control group of town residents. I find that community currency involvement increases general trust, which demonstrates that it is possible to institute government programs that create social capital. Political Behavior Springer Journals

Manufacturing Trust: Community Currencies and the Creation of Social Capital

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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