The Gratis Economy
Privately Provided Public Goods
András Kelen, Management Consultant
"Association of a price with value is often misleading"
- Conventional wisdom
"There's no such thing as a free shave"
- French saying
"There's such a thing as a free lunch"
- Recent experience of cyber citizens
"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, Professor of Urban Studies, Rutgers
University at Camden
"The first book . which makes a serious attempt at
integrating the concept of public goods with the currently
emerging phenomenon of the 'New Economy'. The concept
of public goods is approached here in a context much
broader than usual, and I consider the interdisciplinary
character of the book one of its important assets. .This
book brings us much closer to understanding how the
'New Economy'and, as a major part of it, the 'e-business'
work.. .It is a very rich, thought provoking, well-documented
- Ádám Török, Dean and Professor of Economics,
IMC Graduate School of Business, Budapest
A work in the relatively new field of economic sociology,
this highly unconventional book deals with the logics
of toll-free services and generalises 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.
See also separate
Preface. Theses to Announce the Concept
of Gratis Economy I. The Traditional Gratis Economy
- Uncharted Faces of Pro Bono Work The Social Basis
of Volunteering II. The Virtual Faces of the Gratis
Economy -Business Operated Sizzling Gratuities Free
of Charge, Except for Advertising; Free of Charge, Except
for Commodifying Privacy; Gratuities Embedded in Business
Processes III. The Public Interest in the Gratis
Economy - Gratuities Generated by Polity The State-Run
Gratis Economy; The Informational Commons; Typology
of Business Intrusions that Cry for Political Remedy;
Toward the Demise of Mass Culture in Cyberspace Literature.
ISBN 978-963-9241-22-0 cloth $51.95 / €43.95 / Ł38.00
ISBN 978-963-9241-33-6 paperback $27.95 / €25.95 /