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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.

This book is the result of the International Ciriec working group on "The Weight and Size of the Social Economy – International Perspectives for the Production of Statistics for the Social Economy" developed by the CIRIEC International Scientific Commission "Social and Cooperative Economy":

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Series index

Social Economy & Public Economy


The series “Social Economy & Public Economy” gathers books proposing international analytical comparisons of organizations and economic activities oriented towards the service of the general and collective interest: social services, public services, regulation, public enterprises, economic action of territorial entities (regions, local authorities), cooperatives, mutuals, non-profit organizations, etc. In a context of “large transformation”, the scientific activity in this field has significantly developed, and the series aims at being a new dissemination and valorization means of this activity using a pluri-disciplinary approach (economics, social sciences, law, political sciences, etc.).

The series is placed under the editorial responsibility of CIRIEC. As an international organization with a scientific aim, CIRIEC undertakes and disseminates research on the public, social and cooperative economy. One of its main activities is the coordination of a large international network of researchers active in these fields. Members and non-members of this network are allowed to publish books in the series.

No. 1 – CIRIEC (sous la dir. de Bernard Enjolras), Gouvernance et intérêt général dans les services sociaux et de santé, 2008, 265 p.

No. 2 – CIRIEC (Marie J. Bouchard), The Worth of the Social Economy. An International Perspective, 2009, 268 p.

No. 3 – CIRIEC (Philippe Bance & Luc Bernier), Contemporary Crisis and Renewal of Public Action. Towards the Emergence of a New Form of Regulation? / Crise contemporaine et renouveau de l’action publique. Vers l’émergence d’un nouveau mode de régulation?, 2011, 333 p.

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