Reciprocity in the Sharing Economy: The Case for Time Banking Platforms

Davide Luca Arcidiacono

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Time is one of the major concerns of our life (because decisions on how to allocate this resource are always the result of a compromise between natural and social norms. In particular, in Western societies there has been a transformation of social timing along fundamental lines; speeding, measurement, expansion and commodification . In the post-industrial phase, the meaning of time varies, in particular due to the disappearance of the traditional separation between working and non-working hours. There is a new "social rhythm” that risks a qualitative and quantitative depletion of temporal resources, generated by the recurring dynamic of a negative overlap between work and private life, and the overlapping of different layers of time.eople try to generate practices and strategies to reconnect to the fundamentals of social time such as time banks, which is a tool for mutualism and reciprocity within specific and territorially defined communities (residents of a neighbourhood or the human resources of a company). The system is configured as a proximity service that pools the scarce time resources of each person and redistributes them to support the needs of a member of the community. Through the time bank, the members of a community exchange services, the value of which is defined by the amount of time required, so that time acts as a type of currency. In this chapter, the objective is to see how motivations and exchange practices change in the transition of time banks from the off-line to the on-line system and what impact those changes have on reciprocal transaction mechanisms. The data collected refer to the transactions of one the most significant digital time-banking platforms currently operating.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Contemporary Collaborative Consumption
EditorsGanga R., Wahlen S. Cruz I.
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • reciprocity
  • sharing economy


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