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Self-Service Economy

A self-service economy is one in which a substantial and growing proportion of household expenditure is invested in durable goods (such as tools, information technology [IT], and machinery) that enable consumers to produce services for themselves, rather than outsourcing these services to external providers in the service economy. For example, the advent of the washing machine has enabled people to do the laundry themselves, and the emergence of the Internet has allowed consumers to check in at airports, withdraw money from banks, organize holidays, and so forth, on a self-servicing basis. According to Jonathan Gershuny, two processes are asserted to be encouraging this trend toward self-servicing: (1) technical innovation that is leading to cheaper and simpler capital machinery and (2) the rising labor costs ...

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