Commons and pull economies

David Bollier has two interesting posts (here and here) about pull economies and commons. He also links to his recent report, , “When Push Comes to Pull: The New Economy and Culture of Networking Technology.” The connections he draws between commons and “pull economies” have a demand-side ring to them that closely parallels my work (e.g., here , here, and here). Yet there is more to “pull economies” than I have begun to explore.

Pull economies are decribed as a system and/or strategy of production that is collaborative, user/participant-driven, and in a sense, in competition with push economies – this, of course, brings to mind the work of Yochai Benkler, Julie Cohen, and others. Implicit in Bollier’s discussion is the idea that consumer demand manifests differently in push and pull economies. Push economies work rather well where suppliers can estimate consumer demand for goods and services with sufficient foresight and respond to price signals with sufficient agility that resources are allocated efficiently. But where demand is not so easily estimated and/or price signals do not accurately reflect demand (see the papers linked to above), pull economies may prevail. … Hmmm, much to think about … As Mike mentioned a few weeks ago, there is plenty of work to be done on the demand-side.