OECD Economics Department Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-1973 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18151973
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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

 

Intangible Assets, Resource Allocation and Growth

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Author(s):
Dan Andrews1, Alain de Serres1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
18 Sep 2012
Bibliographic information
No.:
989
Pages
49
DOI
10.1787/5k92s63w14wb-en

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This paper explores the growing importance of intangible assets as a potential source of innovation and productivity gains, and the contribution of efficient resource allocation to this process. Realising the growth opportunities implied by intangible assets depends on the ability to reallocate labour and capital to their most productive use, which is determined by the design of framework policies. The redeployment of tangible resources takes on heightened importance given the inherent difficulties in allocating intangibles efficiently. Indeed, the characteristics of intangible assets create market imperfections, which hinder the allocation of new ideas to where they can be developed most efficiently. While a number of policy instruments are typically deployed to address these market failures, the paper also explores how the growing importance of intangible assets is affecting the suitability of these policy tools. In turn, a number of policy issues are identified, spanning the financing of start-up firms, the treatment of intangibles in corporate valuation and accounting frameworks, competition policy in the digital economy and the role of intellectual property rights frameworks in rapidly growing domains such as information technology.
Keywords:
growth, reallocation, innovation, intangible assets
JEL Classification:
  • L20: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / General
  • O30: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights / General
  • O40: Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity / General