Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 11: Sharing economy to the rescue? The case of timebanking

Carmen Valor and Eleni Papaoikonomou


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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