An economist is supposed to be concerned about how a weak and dispersed majority can fight and inhibit economic lobbies' power. The Internet, due to unparalleled technology and social potential, can help the interests of the majority take shape, be acknowledged, and grow stronger. Just as Wikipedia shows that the Internet can make good use of humanity's immense reserves of voluntary effort, Wikieconomics could be the future's great source of labour, that is, a means towards the construction of an economy that serves the interests of the common good. How? If tomorrow morning we all wake up and reward, with our mouse clicks, businesses who are on the cutting edge of creating economic value in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, the world would change before our very eyes. As consumers, we possess a great power: by supporting conscientious companies with our wallets and our clicks, we can promote our own interests, significantly influence market shares, and help a socially and environmentally responsible business model prevail over the market.
Leonardo Becchetti teaches Political Economy at the Tor Vergata University in Rome.