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The Relationship between Access Practices and Economic Systems

Eckhardt, G.M. & Bardhi, F. (2016). The Relationship between Access Practices and Economic Systems. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1(2), pp. 210-225. doi: 10.1086/684684


The access economy is rising in importance in the marketplace. In this conceptual article, we chronicle access practices in market and nonmarket economies. In nonmarket economic systems, access is gained via social exchange and primarily takes the form of sharing. That is, sharing is non-market-mediated access. In the contemporary market economy, economic exchange practices, such as renting, dominate access practices, explaining why the so-called sharing economy is not about sharing. Further, we propose that culture and social class moderate this relationship by creating contexts where social exchange (e.g., sharing) can provide access to resources in market economies. We demonstrate that access and sharing should not be essentialized, as their nature is dependent on the social system in which they are embedded. Thus, future research can focus on parsing out the nuances of how, when, and why access practices are utilized in particular societies and communities.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Association for Consumer Research. Published by Journal of the Association for Consumer Research on 09/02/2016.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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