The Institute for Government was delighted to welcome Stian Westlake and Jonathan Haskel to launch their book Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy.
The authors argued that major developed economies are investing in intangible assets – design, branding, R&D and software – rather than in tangible assets, such as machinery, buildings and computers. The growing importance of these intangible assets has played a role in some of the big economic changes of the last decade, from economic inequality to stagnating productivity.
Stian Westlake is the Policy Advisor to the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, and a senior fellow of Nesta, the UK's national foundation for innovation.
Jonathan Haskel is Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London and Director of the Doctoral Programme at the School.
In conversation with Emma Norris, IfG Programme Director, the authors discussed these issues and what they mean for policymakers.