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knowledge economy


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1. (knowledge-based economy) The use of knowledge as the primary tool to produce new economic benefits or maximize existing ones. Unlike industrial economies, knowledge economies focus on intangibles such as information over raw materials and are therefore motivated by the economics of abundance rather than scarcity. Knowledge industries (computing, media, medicine, etc.) demand people of high intellectual calibre; knowledge workers are educated to a level where they can be autonomous and flexible decision-makers as well as experts in their specialist fields. The term was created by Fritz Machlup (1902–83), an Austrian-American economist, and popularized by the American writer Peter Drucker (1909–2005): see also information age.

2. (economy of knowledge) The production and management of knowledge as a product or service.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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