Investment and growth in OECD economies is increasingly driven by investment in intangible assets, also known as knowledge-based capital (KBC). In many OECD countries, firms now invest as much or more in KBC as they do in physical capital such as machinery, equipment and buildings. This shift reflects a variety of long-term economic and institutional transformations in OECD economies.
The rise of KBC creates new challenges for policymakers, for business and for the ways in which economic activity is measured. Many policy frameworks and institutions are still best suited to a world in which physical capital drove growth. New thinking is needed to update a range of policy frameworks – from tax and competition policies to corporate reporting and intellectual property rights.
To address the rise of KBC – and contributing to the OECD’s work on new approaches to economic challenges – the OECD is undertaking work which aims to:
Provide evidence of the economic value of KBC as a new source of growth; and
Improve understanding of current and emerging challenges for policy, in such areas as taxation, competition, intellectual property rights, personal data, and corporate reporting.
The project draws on expertise from across the OECD Secretariat and Committees.
In the context of the New Sources of Growth project, this high-level policy-oriented conference aimed to present, review and build on the findings of the OECD’s two-year programme of work examining the role of knowledge-based capital in growth.
Bringing together a group of leading academics and policy analysts, in an informal setting, this workshop aimed to examine conceptual and policy frameworks for knowledge-based (intangible) capital. A deeper understanding of knowledge-based assets is a critical step toward advancing economic policy. Better understanding can help governments meet new economic challenges, avoid systemic dysfunction, and promote informed development and growth – rather than merely fine-tuning the status quo. The deliberations feed into the conclusions of a wide-ranging two-year OECD project on knowledge-based capital and growth.
This conference aimed to raise public awareness about the growing importance of intangibles in driving economic growth and to provide a road map for identification of key research and policy areas that can help governments and businesses develop growth strategies that adopt a broad concept of innovation and thereby better utilise intangible assets.