Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The myth of the service economy

Parrinello, Sergio (2003): The myth of the service economy. Published in: Working Paper Dipartimento di Economia Pubblica , Vol. 55, (June 2003): pp. 1-32.

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In this article the author, after a critical assessment of the main notions of services developed in economics, presents a revised definition of services based on process analysis. A corresponding distinction is made between material and non-material goods, on the one hand, and services, on the other hand. The proposed definition is applied to extend Sraffa’s theory of prices and to clarify that the expansion of the service activities, as such, is not related to knowledge creation and information diffusion. It is suggested that the dynamics of such non-material factors, instead of being reflected by the change in the relative weights of goods and services, should be assessed on the basis of the change in the tasks and qualities of the labour force. Final version of this working paper: S. Parrinello, “The service economy revisited”, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 15 (2004) 381–400

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