What Happened to the Knowledge Economy? ICT, Intangible Investment and Britain's Productivity Record Revisited
AbstractA major puzzle is that despite the apparent importance of innovation around the "knowledge economy", UK macro performance appears unaffected: investment rates are flat, and productivity has slowed down. We investigate whether measurement issues might account for the puzzle. The standard National Accounts treatment of most spending on "knowledge" or "intangible" assets is as intermediate consumption. Thus they do not count as either GDP or investment. We ask how treating such spending as investment affects some key macro variables, namely, market sector gross value added (MGVA), business investment, capital and labour shares, growth in labour and total factor productivity, and capital deepening. We find (a) MGVA was understated by about 6% in 1970 and 13% in 2004 (b) instead of the nominal business investment/MGVA ratio falling since 1970 it is has been rising (c) instead of the labour compensation/MGVA ratio being flat since 1970 it has been falling (d) growth in labour productivity and capital deepening has been understated and growth in total factor productivity overstated (e) total factor productivity growth has not slowed since 1990 but has been accelerating.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 603.
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Intangible assets; Productivity; R&D; Training; Organisational capital; Investment;
Other versions of this item:
- Mauro Giorgio Marrano & Jonathan Haskel & Gavin Wallis, 2009. "What Happened To The Knowledge Economy? Ict, Intangible Investment, And Britain'S Productivity Record Revisited," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 686-716, 09.
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Capital; Investment; Capacity
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2007-06-18 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-INO-2007-06-18 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2007-06-18 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-MAC-2007-06-18 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ark, Bart van, 2002. "ICT investments and growth accounts for the European Union," GGDC Research Memorandum 200256, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
- Giorgio Marrano, Mauro & Haskel, Jonathan, 2007.
"How Much Does the UK Invest in Intangible Assets?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Venetia Bell & Pablo Burriel-Llombart & Jerry Jones, 2005. "A quality-adjusted labour input series for the United Kingdom (1975-2002)," Bank of England working papers 280, Bank of England.
- Gavin Wallis, 2009. "Capital Services Growth in the UK: 1950 to 2006," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(6), pages 799-819, December.
- Timmer, Marcel P. & Ypma, Gerard & Ark, Bart van der, 2003. "IT in the European Union: driving productivity divergence?," GGDC Research Memorandum 200363, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
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