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Social Finance$
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Alex Nicholls, Rob Paton, and Jed Emerson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703761.001.0001

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Co-operative and mutual finance

Co-operative and mutual finance

(p.133) 5 Co-operative and mutual finance
Social Finance

Jonathan Michie

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores one of the very first forms of social finance—co-operative and mutual organizations. First, the chapter sets out a definition of this sector and its approach to investment and finance. Next the chapter sketches in some historical background and puts co-operatives and mutuals in their global context, including data about the (substantial) scale and size of the sector worldwide. The relationship between co-operatives and mutuals and public services reform is then explored. The chapter goes on to argue that, post 2008, there is an increasing consensus that greater corporate diversity would reduce the overall riskiness of a national economy—in this context the growth of the co-operative and mutual sector offers macro-level benefits beyond the micro-benefits from the social value of individual membership and community embeddedness. The chapter then explores the possible shape and structure of a future market for mutual finance.

Keywords:   co-operatives, mutual organizations, corporate diversity, social value, embeddedness, public service reform

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