Capital has changed and capitalism is changing as a result. For the first time in history, businesses are investing more in things you can neither see nor touch – so-called intangible capital – than in traditional physical assets like buildings, machines, computers or vehicles. Intangible capital, such as R&D, design, software, brands and organisational capabilities, have different economic properties from traditional assets. As a result, the rise of the intangible economy is changing the economy and society in important and non-obvious ways. This new intangible economy helps explain a range of big puzzles and problems: why productivity is stagnating, why inequality is rising, why populism is on the rise. It also helps managers, investors and policymakers understand what to do about it.
Jonathan Haskel, economics professor at Imperial College Business School, and Stian Westlake, policy adviser to the Minister of State in the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy at the University of Cambridge, have written a new book, "Capitalism without Capital." They will discuss this new economic trend and what it means for the future.
Jonathan HaskelProfessor of Economics, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London
Stian WestlakePolicy Adviser to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, Center for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge