Browse Definitions :
Definition

gift economy

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

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

Continue Reading About gift economy

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • business impact analysis (BIA)

    Business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to ...

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive that is used in internally mounted storage expansion cards of a small form factor.

Close