This paper explores the ecological economics of small-scale cooperative banking (SSCB) through reference to the empirical case of a rice-farming village in Kampot, Cambodia. It combines Georgescu-Roegen's discussion of an economy's capacity to produce economic processes with Ostrom's concept of institutional performance, in order to address the implications and functioning of SSCB within a small-farmer economy. The local collective action situation of maintaining and making use of a SSCB system - a specific finance model - provides the studied community with access to a pooled capital fund that may play an important role in ensuring its capacity to produce and reproduce economic processes, according to its own specifications. The coordinated action among the villagers, which matches up well with Ostrom's criteria for effective institutional performance of common pool resource use governance, is found to include social and environmental dimensions, which we understand to be necessary for achieving transformations toward more sustainable economic activity. While we do not wish to suggest that the adoption of SSCB guarantees either improved ecological or social impacts, our results suggest that this finance model could play a supporting role in enhancing the potential of small-farming communities to improve both, should they wish to do so.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Environmental Science
- Economics and Econometrics