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The Weight of the Social Economy

An International Perspective


Edited By CIRIEC, Marie J. Bouchard and Damien Rousselière

What is the weight of the social economy? How should we measure it? Throughout the world, cooperatives, non-profit and mutual benefit organizations, foundations and other social enterprises play an important role in job creation, social cohesion, social innovation, regional development and environmental protection. Observations tend to confirm the ability of the social economy to contribute to balancing economies, mainly by serving as an anti-cyclical force in the face of economic crises. However, many countries and regions lack statistical information about its weight, size and scope on their territory.
This book fills a gap in the literature about the social economy. It seeks to explain why it is important to have statistics on it, to understand how they are produced, and to project how the social economy might be better understood in the future. The book offers researchers and decision-makers an overview of the current state of knowledge on these topics.


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Part II. What Can Be Learned From Specific Studies


Part ii What can Be learned FroM sPeciFic studies 161 The Construction of Social and Solidarity Economy Statistics in France A Progressive Mobilization of Very Diverse Actors Danièle deMoustier Economist at Sciences Po Grenoble, France with contributions from Élisa Braley Former head of the Observatoire national de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire, France Thomas Guérin Project coordinator, Chambre Régionale de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France Daniel rault Former technical advisor, Délégation interministérielle à l’innovation, à l’expérimentation sociale et à l’économie sociale, France Introduction The history of statistics on the social and solidarity economy (SSE) is, as with the history of general statistics in France (Desrosières, 2000), a social construction that reflects the mobilization as well as the representa- tions and resistances of various social and institutional actors. SSE statis- tics in France took shape outside of an institutional environment with the recognition of the social economy by national actors and governments in the 1980s. Although INSEE1 is a key actor in this process, statistics on 1 The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) is a branch of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in France. It collects, produces, analyzes and The Weight of the Social Economy 162 the SSE are still produced by multiple private actors. Moreover, despite a growing consensus on the weight of the SSE in the overall economy, even leading to the appointment of a Minister of the SSE and to the adoption of a...

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