In the Cracks of Capitalism, Time Banks are on the Rise in U.S.

By | February 16, 2014

Following the 2008 economic crash, the need for innovative approaches to the economy has only grown larger. One such answer to that problem has been a strong resurgence in the use of “time banks,” a service for service exchange that skips the middle man of financial currency while building community in the process, according to a special report published by Al Jazeera America.

What is a timebank? From Rushey Green members' handbook

What is a timebank? From Rushey Green members’ handbook


Time banks are organizations where individuals come together to offer services, traditionally within their immediate community. In return for providing a service, individuals earn “time credits” based on hours donated, which can be redeemed from any other service provider in the system. The exchange of money is avoided all together and each service is treated equally.

Since the crash, over 300 time banks have popped up around the United States alone, “located everywhere from Appalachia to Oakland and run by institutions ranging from art galleries to retirement centers to hospitals,” Al Jazeera reports.

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See the article on timebanks on the social economy in higher education project website. The project aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the social economy system, such as social enterprise, not-for-profit business, credit unions, cooperatives, etc. in order to enhance the study and practice of this field in higher education.