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Network economics refers to business economics that benefit from the network effect. This is when the value of a good or service increases when others buy the same good or service. Examples are website such as EBay, or iVillage where the community comes together and shares thoughts to help the website become a better business organization.
In sustainability, network economics refers to multiple professionals (architects, designers, or related businesses) all working together to develop sustainable products and technologies. The more companies are involved in environmentally friendly production, the easier and cheaper it becomes to produce new sustainable products. For instance, if no one produces sustainable products, it is difficult and expensive to design a sustainable house with custom materials and technology. But due to network economics, the more industries are involved in creating such products, the easier it is to design an environmentally sustainable building.
Another benefit of network economics in a certain field is improvement that results from competition and networking within an industry.