The Free Web Has Economists Puzzled

Calculations of gross domestic product exclude many Web services

Since completing a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2009, Ti Zhao, a self-described education junkie, has continued to take classes. The price for the last eight: $0. “It’s hard for me to imagine ever paying for a class again,” says Zhao, who’s taken free courses from online education services EdX and Coursera. Before, the San Francisco resident spent about $500 per class at a local university’s continuing education program.

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