What is gift economy? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Personal computing glossary:

A gift economy is one in which services or goods are given without an agreement as to a suitable payment or trade to be made in return.

Instead of monetary gain, gift economies often rely on intangible rewards like a sense of contribution, community, honor or prestige. The idea is that although gifts may not be directly reciprocated, broad participation leads to a system in which people give according to their abilities and receive according to their needs.

Gift economies can also be reciprocity-based or may require a return of the original gift. In these cases the distinctions between a gift economy, a sharing economy and a barter economy become blurred. However, the concepts are not mutually exclusive and people often participate in all three simultaneously without ever really thinking about it as such.

In information technology (IT), one of the best examples of gift economy principles in action is the open source movement. Open source software, for example, is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.

It can be argued that the gift economy was the first type in existence. Prehistoric social groups collaborated to feed, hunt, gather and care for the young in a loosely reciprocal gift economy.

In this video, economist James Quilligan and Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, discuss gift economies and the Commons:

 

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Cyber Monday

    - Cyber Monday is a marketing event created to promote online sales. The day falls on the Monday after Black Friday, which directly follows American Thanksgiving Day. (WhatIs.com)

  • NCR (no country redirect)

    - An explanation of the NCR (no country redirect) search parameter. This definition of NCR explains how Google search redirect works and how you can prevent the search engine from redirecting to your... (WhatIs.com)

  • Apple iBeacon

    - Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to detect a compatible device within a beacon's vicinity. (SearchCRM.com)

Glossaries

  • Personal computing

    - Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About gift economyPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.