Productivity Puzzles Ep 15: Restarting the Future: How Intangibles Can Fuel Productivity

Why has economic growth slowed down? Have we already exhausted the benefits from the digital revolution? Are the trusted institutions of the 20th century now failing in the investments most needed for future growth in productivity?

This episode takes a deep dive into the book Restarting the Future: How to Fix the Intangible Economy, which provides a new explanation for why growth has slowed and why we need a reset of institutions and policies. The topics covered include R&D, software, design, training, reputation & branding and business processes.

Intangible capital offers the same characteristic as tangible capital of providing value over time, but it is not something you can touch and feel. It includes many assets that are critical to modern businesses, such as data, software and R&D. Crucially, intangibles are frequently characterised by scalability, sunkenness, spillovers and synergies.

Our guests:

  • Jonathan Haskel Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School and External Monetary Policy Committee member at Bank of England
  • Stian Westlake Chief Executive of the Royal Statistical Society
  • Diane Coyle Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge

For more information on the topic:

To catch up with past episodes: