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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 14, Issue 4


Volume 18 (2018)

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Re-thinking the Concept of Surplus: Embracing Co-creation Experiences in Economics

Avik Chakrabarti / Venkat Ramaswamy
Published Online: 2014-08-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2013-0192


Economics has traditionally split consumers from producers by assigning them fixed roles. In the Internetworked economy as it is becoming, this is no longer true as value is increasingly jointly created among individuals, as a function of their co-creation experiences. We construct a framework that reconnects economics with value creation that goes beyond artifacts as the central unit of analysis, toward platforms of engagements of which artifacts themselves are only a part. Engagement platforms are now both the means and ends of value creation, and economic theory must take into account both the potential value generated to individuals through “production” experiences of co-creating artifacts (through co-production engagement platforms), as well as co-creating “consumption” experiences (through co-consumption engagement platforms). We show how starting with joint value creation re-shapes our thinking about the nature of “surplus,” expanding traditional economic thinking about supply and demand toward a more convergent space of markets shaped by co-creation experiences.

Keywords: co-creation experience economics; co-creation possibilities set; co-creation possibilities frontier; co-creative surplus; gains from co-creation; principle of co-creative advantage

JEL Classification Code: B40; B41; D46


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-08-14

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 1283–1297, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2013-0192.

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