Knowledge and its Economic Characteristics - A Conceptual Clarification

14 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2007

See all articles by Ulrich Witt

Ulrich Witt

Max Planck Institute of Economics

Tom Broekel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics; Utrecht University - Department of Economic Geography

Thomas Brenner

Max Planck Institute for Research Into Economic Systems, Jena

Date Written: May 7, 2007

Abstract

This paper discusses several features of knowledge that are often considered crucial for characterizing the economic significance of knowledge: whether it is overtly accessible or tacit, whether it can be or is encoded or not, and whether it has public or private good character. It is argued that all these features depend similarly on the state of the knowledge technology, i.e. on how knowledge can be acquired, stored, used, and communicated. The different characteristics and the relationships between them are shown to correspond to different specifications of the technology, specifications that are not always made explicit in the literature.

Keywords: knowledge, knowledge technology, tacitness, ouvertness, public goods, intellectual property rights

JEL Classification: D83, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Witt, Ulrich and Broekel, Tom and Broekel, Tom and Brenner, Thomas, Knowledge and its Economic Characteristics - A Conceptual Clarification (May 7, 2007). Jena Economic Research Paper No. 2007-013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019222 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1019222

Ulrich Witt (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute of Economics ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
Evolutionary Economics Unit
D-07745 Jena
Germany
+49 3641 68 68 01 (Phone)
+49 3641 68 68 68 (Fax)

Tom Broekel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany

Utrecht University - Department of Economic Geography ( email )

Heidelberglaan 2
Utrecht
Netherlands

Thomas Brenner

Max Planck Institute for Research Into Economic Systems, Jena ( email )

Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena, 07745
Germany
+49 3641 686820 (Phone)
+49 3641 686868 (Fax)

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