Knowledge Economy

The global economy currently is in transition from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy: to an economy in which knowledge is both an input of increasing significance into the productive process and a product. In a knowledge economy, labor costs become progressively less important, and scarcity of resources and economies of scale cease to apply.

One definition of the knowledge economy is that “the generation and exploitation of knowledge play the predominant part in the creation of wealth” (United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry). Features of the knowledge economy include: 

  • Knowledge becoming more important as an input.
  • Knowledge becoming more important as a product.
  • Codified knowledge becoming more significant as a component of economic relations.
  • Changes in information and communication technologies.

University Economist Reports

An Overview of the Knowledge Economy, With a Focus on Arizona, August 2011
Definitions, importance, and characteristics of the global knowledge economy are discussed. Measurements of the size of the knowledge economy nationally and in Arizona are presented.

Supply and Demand of "STEM" Occupations in Arizona, November 2008
Employment, degree production, and migration of individuals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Sunbelt Growth and the Knowledge Economy: An Exploratory Analysis, June 2007
Looks at education and income characteristics of migrants (proxies for the knowledge economy) to the Sunbelt, and the economic performance of the Sunbelt.

Universities in the U.S. National Innovation System, March 2006
A review of research and development efforts in the United States, including the role played by universities.

Related Articles and Reports

Building a Knowledge Economy -- How Academic R&D Supports High-Tech Employment, Milken Institute, August 2018

Growing the Future: State Efforts to Advance the Life Sciences, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, February 2018

The 2017 State New Economy Index, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, November 2017

The Best States for Data Innovation, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, July 2017

False Alarmism: Technological Disruption and the U.S. Labor Market, 1850–2015, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, May 2017

Investing in “Innovation Infrastructure” to Restore U.S. Growth, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, January 2017

State Technology and Science Index 2016, Milken Institute, October 2016

Debunking the Myth of a STEM Surplus, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, July 2014

Understanding the U.S. National Innovation System, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, June 2014

University Research Funding: Still Lagging and Showing No Signs of Improvement, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, June 2014

Arizona's Technology Workforce: Issues, Opportunities and Competitive Pressures, Arizona State University, L. William Seidman Research Institute, September 2011

Charting a Course for Arizona's Technology-Based Development, Milken Institute, December 2009

High-Technology Activities in Arizona: 2007 Update, Arizona State University, Center for Competitiveness and Prosperity Research, prepared for the Arizona Department of Commerce, January 2008

Measuring the Innovation Climate: Innovation Indicators Dashboard, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, December 5, 2007

Study Shows University Research Benefits Regional EconomyW. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, July 2, 2007

A Strategic Assessment of the Economic Benefits of Investments in Research in Arizona, Arizona State University, L. William Seidman Research Institute and University of Arizona, Economic and Business Research Center, prepared for Science Foundation Arizona, June 2007

The Two Faces of Entrepreneurship, Part 2: Innovative Entrepreneurs Bring New Wealth to the EconomyW. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, September 13, 2006

Basic Research by Universities Is Critical to U.S. InnovationW. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, March 15, 2006

Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2006

The Role of Universities in Knowledge Economies, Arizona State University, February 15, 2005

Related Links

Business Roundtable

Flinn Foundation

Forfas (Ireland)

Science Foundation Arizona

Task Force on the Future of American Innovation