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Rethinking the Knowledge-Based Economy

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Over the last decade it has been accepted by many commentators that the economy is moving into a new phase of development based particularly on knowledge production and consumption. And although the knowledge-based economy (KBE) thesis may have been overstated, it is difficult to deny that important changes have been occurring in the ways that economies work, and that these changes do indeed revolve in part around the creation, transfer and use of knowledge. Since the 1980s we have, for example, witnessed the expansion of ICT and the internet, and the emergence of knowledge-intensive business services, as well as a significant deepening of R&D inputs into manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, however, the KBE thesis is also associated with an excessive emphasis on the last of these changes on the role of science and technology in manufacturing an emphasis that has led to the neglect of other economically relevant forms of knowledge. Here we examine this emphasis and its consequences, and we suggest that policy research should be rebalanced to produce a more interesting and realistic assessment of the ways in which knowledge now contributes to economic development.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 24, 2009

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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