Is Free a Concept that Works Only in Abundant Economies?

I have been quite enamoured by the whole open source, free software concept, coming to believe that companies can make money by giving things away for free. So when Seth Godin wrote about two lemonade stalls applying different business models, it made perfect sense. There’s one stall selling lemonade at $1 per glass and another giving it away free with a tip jar. And the little girl giving away free lemonade made a fortune in tips. But then I wondered what would the situation be for the two stalls if they were located on a roadside or on a street in an Indian city or town. Would the stall giving away free lemonade still make money? I am not quite sure if it would (it might be an intersting experiment to do though). Which makes me wonder if the whole “free” concept is primarily a concept that works in economies of abundance. Would this work where the primary customer doesn’t really have cash? What do you think?