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Von Neumann's Legacy: 'Intelligent' Capital in a Weightless Economy


  • Acquisti, Alessandro


We analyze the production factor which is behind the phenomenon of the de-materialization of advanced economies: synergic combinations of electronic hardware and software, which are capable of manipulating symbols autonomously and modifying themselves - forms of 'intelligent' capital because they incorporate human capital in physical forms. This capital is heterogeneous from traditional capital. We analyze the origin of that heterogeneity and show that intelligent capital is potentially capable of increasing without direct investment. Its characteristics derive from developments in computing and automata theory which benefited from John von Neumann's research.

Suggested Citation

  • Acquisti, Alessandro, 1998. "Von Neumann's Legacy: 'Intelligent' Capital in a Weightless Economy," Economics Technical Papers 9818, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduet:9818

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    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals

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