The Miracle of Wörgl

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case


Recent attempts by several big tech companies to create their own currencies, such as Facebook's Libra, have drawn attention to monetary innovations. The case offers important insights for this debate by engaging with the wave of monetary innovation and entrepreneurship triggered by the unemployment and economic distress of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Through the vantage point of one of the most successful community currencies of the time - the currency of Wörgl in Austria - the students learn about the socio-economic challenges these currencies aimed to address, the distinct monetary designs these currencies adopted, and the kind of support they attempted to mobilize. The students explore the obstacles that monetary innovator and entrepreneur Mayor Unterguggenberger experienced. They develop a plan for a monetary design that will boost the local economy by iterating and evaluating several possible solutions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • complementary currencies, monetary innovation, demurrage, public sector entrepreneur
Original languageEnglish
Short descriptionTeaching case and teaching note
PublisherHarvard Business Publishing
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 20
Publication categoryResearch