Consuming Knowledge: Studying Knowledge Use in Leisure and Work Activities
It is difficult to overstate the importance of personal consumption both to individual consumers and to the economy. While consumer&, are recognized as valuing market goods and services for the activities they can construct from them in the frameworks of several disciplines, consequences of the characteristics of goods and services they use in these activities have not been well studied. In the discourse to follow, I will contrast knowledge-yielding and conventional goods and services as factors in the construction of activities that consumers engage in when they are not in the workplace. Consumers will be seen as deciding on non-work activities and the inputs to these activities according to their objectives, and the values and cumulated skills they hold. I will suggest that knowledge content in these activities can be efficient for consumer objectives and also have important externalities through its effect on productivity at work and economic growth. The exposition will seek to elaborate these points and contribute to multi disciplinal dialogue on consumption. It takes as its starting point the contention that consumption is simultaneously an economic and social psychological process and that integration of content can contribute to explanation.