IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Understanding the Challenges of the Digital Economy: The Nature of Digital Goods


  • Thierry RAYNA

    (Imperial College London)


This article investigates the economic nature and characteristics of digital goods. Such goods are, due to their replicability, shown to be public goods (albeit in an evolutionary way) and durable goods. Furthermore, the content of such goods, combined with their durability, makes them experience goods. While only one of these characteristics would be sufficient to create difficulties for producers and lead to market failure, this article demonstrates that each of the characteristics reinforces the other. The framework presented in the article is then applied to two important issues: the new trend of massive consumer piracy and the overall problem of value of digital goods

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry RAYNA, 2008. "Understanding the Challenges of the Digital Economy: The Nature of Digital Goods," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(71), pages 13-36, 3rd quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs7101

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thierry Rayna, 2006. "IPR Protection in the High-Tech Industries: A Model of Piracy," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 06/593, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jing Lan & Yuge Ma & Dajian Zhu & Diana Mangalagiu & Thomas F. Thornton, 2017. "Enabling Value Co-Creation in the Sharing Economy: The Case of Mobike," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(9), pages 1-20, August.
    2. Devesa Fernández, María & Herrero Prieto, Luis César & Sanz Lara, José Ángel, 2009. "Análisis económico de la demanda de un festival cultural/," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 139-160, Abril.
    3. Acar, Kemal Veli, 2017. "Child abuse materials as digital goods: Why we should fear new commercial forms," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-15, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Marcin Wieczerzycki, 2015. "Produkt cyfrowy w świetle jakościowej teorii informacji i koncepcji hylemorfizmu," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1, pages 129-146.
    5. Kim, Jongbum & Seo, Jeonghun, 2017. "User Resistance to Digital Goods: a Case of E-books," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168502, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    6. Rayna, Thierry & Striukova, Ludmila, 2016. "From rapid prototyping to home fabrication: How 3D printing is changing business model innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 214-224.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs7101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (BLAVIER Thomas) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask BLAVIER Thomas to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.