Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi
Chapter 11: Sharing economy to the rescue? The case of timebanking
Timebanking is an underexplored area in the sharing economy. Drawing on reciprocity and neo-institutional theories, this chapter positions timebanking within the sharing economy and explores why timebanks as markets have failed to be institutionalized. The authors’ three-year fieldwork in Spanish and Greek timebanks reveals that timebanks are subject to conflicting logics and are incapable of creating a hybrid model that would successfully blend the multiple institutional logics. Timebanks are “stuck in-between” logics which, in turn, prescribe contradictory fields of action. As a result, tensions emerge that put in jeopardy the timebanking project. The authors’ findings enrich understanding of the institutionalization of sharing economy markets by focusing on a problematic case instead of a success story.
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