Why Not Share Rather Than Own?

  • Belk R
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Abstract

Sharing is an alternative form of distribution to commodity exchange and gift giving. Compared to these alternative modes, sharing can foster community, save resources, and create certain synergies. Yet outside of our immediate families, we do little sharing. Even within the family, there is increased privatization. This article addresses impediments to sharing as well as incentives that may encourage more sharing of both tangible and intangible goods. Two recent developments, the Internet and intellectual property rights doctrines, are locked in a battle that will do much to determine the future of sharing. Businesses may lead the way with virtual corporations outsourcing the bulk of their operations. Whether virtual consumers sharing some of their major possessions are a viable counterpart remains an open question.

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Authors

  • Russell Belk

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