The Commodification of Knowledge and Information

Rotta, Tomas and Teixeira, Rodrigo. 2018. The Commodification of Knowledge and Information. Working Paper. Greenwich Papers in Political Economy, London. [Report]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper we present an analysis of the commodification of knowledge and information in contemporary capitalism. We provide a consistent account of how information as a commodity effects the workings of both capitalism and of Marxist theory. The first part of the paper critically revisits Marx’s own writings on the commodification of knowledge and how the immaterial labour hypothesis initially interpreted these writings. Based on the new categories knowledge-commodity and knowledge-rent, we then present our own approach in response to the challenges raised by the immaterial labour hypothesis. Lastly, we analyse the more recent contributions on the commodification of knowledge and information within the Marxist literature. The current debate on the value of knowledge has been divided between two camps: the reproduction cost approach, and the average cost approach. At the end of the paper we present empirical estimates of the magnitudes of knowledge-rents.

Item Type:

Report (Working Paper)

Additional Information:

JEL Codes: B51, L00, O30

Keywords:

Knowledge-commodities, knowledge-rents, value theory, Marx, immaterial labour

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies

Date:

20 June 2018

Item ID:

26883

Date Deposited:

11 Sep 2019 14:04

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 18:06

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26883

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