Keywords: Economic Development; Third Sector; non Profit Organizations.
This paper is divided into four sections. In the first part the key points of
the system of the «gift economy» are outlined, as opposed to market economy
in the strict sense, since it bases its «status» on the usage value, rather than on
the trade (or commercial) value of goods; in the second part current aspects of
this system are emphasized, also in reference to the new issues of «degrowth»
and «economy without money». In the third and fourth sections, referring specifically
to Southern Italy, it is investigated whether the presence of a historically
founded substrate of civil economy may represent a useful basis for the spread
of non-profit organizations as a force for economic and social growth of this
area. In this context, taking into consideration the role of the State in promoting
and developing «Third Sector» businesses is the «landing point» and the «proposal
» of this paper.