The word intangibles (plural) is usually employed to describe both intangible assets and intangible capital, which are interlinked through the same expression. The concepts of asset and capital have origins in accounting, where they are traditionally used to report financial transactions. In economics and sociology, these terms convey different meanings from their earlier accounting notions. Geoffrey Hodgson has noted that the change in meaning might have occurred after the political economist Adam Smith produced his influential work about the nature and causes of the wealth of nations in 1776. Before Smith, the concepts of capital and assets were, to a large extent, the same as those still considered in the business world—namely, linked to monetary funds invested or investable in organizations. After Smith, these concepts ...

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