Creative industries play a key role in the knowledge economy

The worldwide growth in the `knowledge economy’ since the early 1980s, fuelled by powerful, cheap technology and consumer demand, has been unstoppable; by 2004 UK business investment in knowledge-based (intangible) assets was 1.4 times investment in physical assets, having been only 40% in 1970.

Creative industries play a key role in the knowledge economy

Ian Brinkley

A knowledge-based economy is, of course, not new – knowledge-based institutions, such as universities, go back centuries. But in the late 1970s and early 1980s, three major economic and social forces combined to initiate a radical change in economic structures across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):

  1. the introduction of very powerful and relatively cheap general purpose information and communication technologies that have gone on getting more powerful and cheaper at an accelerating rate

  2. powerful consumer markets made up of well-educated and demanding consumers with a...

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