In pure form, an economy (or equivalent) based on gift giving rather than trading. (Read with GiftParadigm)
Two ideas of Gift Culture or GiftEconomy :
Pure, such as those advocated as Feminist (WhatIsFeminism) alternative economics. (eg. GenevieveVaughan). Which believe that an exchange mentality is wrong and needs to be changed.
Pragmatic : Some apparent gift cultures are really based on trading gifts for status or general acclaim.
The two might be synthesized here : http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue3_12/barbrook/
Brad DeLong : Markets and Their Alternatives : http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/cgi-bin/wiki.cgi?MarketsandTheirAlternatives
See also :