Knowledge Economy Definition

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 29, 2023

Knowledge Economy Definition

A knowledge economy is a system of buyers and sellers just like any other economic system, but instead of trading tangible assets participants exchange information.

Four Central Characteristics

In order to be classified as a knowledge economy, a system of exchange must demonstrate four central characteristics.

  • Systemic provision of incentives for the pursuit of knowledge and entrepreneurship
  • Presence of an educated and skilled labor force
  • Engagement with information and communication technology (ICT)
  • An environment that is conducive for invention and progress that includes both the public and private sectors

Relevant Fields

Today, especially in the US and other more developed countries, there is a lot of money to be made in the fields encompassed within a knowledge economy.

Examples include:

  • Scientific Research
  • Technical Support
  • Consulting

All of which are a result of the growing interconnectedness of the global economy.

Today, with more markets available than ever before as a result of the Internet, expertise has become a vital resource. Which is why, as we see today why there is such a need for men and women who are skilled technicians, communicators and researchers.

Examples of the Knowledge Economy

The main driver of a knowledge economy, the inputs of production if you will, are a human's intelligence and education.

An example of an institution using these means of production for capital gain, is the University. Many professors employed at a university, especially those who specialize in STEM fields, when not commanding a classroom are conducting research.

Which once concluded, can be sold to interested parties for profit which benefits scientist and university alike.

Another example of an institution making use of the knowledge economy is RAND, a private research facility located in Santa Monica, CA. Similar to a University, RAND employs several experts across dozens of fields to conduct research that can then be marketed.

Knowledge Economy FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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