Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Abraham Ninan
Chapter 7: Knowledge and Cultural Capital
Stuart Cunningham The new macro focus on the knowledge-based economy and innovation policies has been around in some form or other for some time, certainly since the information society discussions of the 1950s, with notional subdivisions of the service or tertiary industry sector into quaternary and quinary sectors based on information management (fourth sector) and knowledge generation (fifth sector). But the shorter-term influence is traceable to new growth theory in economics, which has pointed to the limitations for wealth creation of only microeconomic efficiency gains and liberalization strategies (Arthur 1997, p. 10; Romer 1994, 1995). Governments are now attempting to advance knowledge-based economy models, which imply a renewed interventionary role for the state after decades of neo-liberal small government. There is prioritization of innovation and R&D-driven industries, intensive reskilling and education of the population, and a focus on universalizing the benefits of connectivity through mass ICT literacy upgrades. Every OECD economy, large or small, or even emerging economies (e.g. Malaysia) can try to play this game, because a knowledge-based economy is not based on old-style comparative factor advantages, but on competitive advantage, that is, what can be constructed out of integrated labour force, education, technology and investment strategies. The cases of Japan, Singapore and Finland are exemplary in this regard. The place of creative industries in knowledge economy strategies It has been rare for the cultural and creative industries to be considered in knowledge economy (usually R&D and innovation) strategies, although, as we shall see, this situation is...
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