The Gratis Economy
Privately Provided Public Goods
A work in the relatively new field of economic sociology, this highly unconventional book deals with the logics of toll-free services and generalizes the notion of voluntary work toward encompassing everything that can be obtained free of charge in the world. The author claims that the publicity-driven gratis economy -– perhaps the greatest wealth-creator in history -– is integrating into the conventional non-profit sector.
Kelen's exploration of the gratis economy covers the three basic institutional sectors: nonprofit/voluntary, business and government.
The 'New Economy' offers a wide range of services seemingly for free, but the costs are still supposed to be borne by some actors of the economy. The message of the book is very important: the motives of the gratis giving of goods or services can always be identified and could be explained either by 'motivated giving' or by 'hidden marketing'. These motives often lie outside of the scope of traditional economics and may have strong political, sociological and/or psychological connotations.
The Gratis Economy will be of interest to professors and students of applied economics and business schools, sociologists, to the e-business community, marketing practitioners, webspinners, infonauts, netizens, software developers and decision-makers of electronic media.
"This volume could make a contribution to contemporary social science far beyond its declared attempt to develop a theory of the gratis economy."—Jon van Til
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