Informational Capital

The term informational capital designates the form of capital that prevails in an information economy. If industrial capital—such as machinery, stocks, and buildings—was the most important form of capital in an industrial economy, then informational capital—such as patents, trademarks, and other forms of intellectual property, as well as less well defined entities such as goodwill, intellectual or social capital, know-how, and corporate culture—become the most important forms of capital in an information economy. In particular, in contemporary consumer culture, informational capital, such as brands, has acquired an unprecedented influence on consumer practices as well as the value of goods. However, the terms capital, information, and information economy are not simple.

The concept of an information economy can be traced to postwar U.S. debates on a coming ...

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