The Wörgl Currency and Demurrage

One of the most celebrated cases of community currency was that which occurred in the small town of Wörgl in Austria in 1932-33. In the midst of the Great Depression, the mayor of that little town took the bold step of issuing into circulation a local currency, the impact of which was heard round the world. Many journalistic accounts have been written and circulated, but few definitive descriptions have been found, and even fewer critical analyses. But, because it is so celebrated, and because it was apparently so successful, this is a case well worth studying.

I have undertaken my own critical analysis and I think this would be a good place to start.

Comment on the Wörgl Experiment with Community Currency and Demurrage by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. May 2002 [add live link to - TGWoerglComment.wpd]

Here are three reports from the 1934 volume of Annals of Collective Economy

  1. The Wörgl Experiment With Depreciating Money
    by Alex. Von Muralt

  2. A French View of The Wörgl Experiment: A New Economic Mecca
    by M. Claude Bourdet

  3. The End Results of the Wörgl Experiment
    by Michael Unterguggenberger, Burgomaster of Wörgl

The website of Hans Eisenkolb contains a wealth of monetary reform material with a particular emphasis on Silvio Gesell. It includes some interesting statistics on the decline in value of various national currencies, and Eisenkolb's own proposals for an alternative medium of exchange based on the ideas of Gesell and modeled after the
Wörgl currency.

He has a large section on the Wörgl currency, including an English translation of selected parts of Fritz Schwarz's book on The Experiment in Wörgl.

Geld Reform. This is a German language monetary reform website which has some English language material. It contains the entire text (in German) of the only book about the Wörgl currency I know of: Fritz Schwarz's book, Das Geldwunder von Wörgl.

Thomas H. Greco, Jr. Comments on the Wörgl Experiment
Updated on 08/10/2005