As I wrote last night, this blog will report and comment on the BEA’s decision to revise the way it measures GDP. The BEA’s goal is to better account for the real value of intellectual property in the US economy. The implications could be significant.
For social theory, this change in the recognition of “value” represents an advancement in the underlying institutional features of advanced capitalism.
For more practical pursuits, this accounting change suggests at least three implications.
1. It means there will be more value-based wealth in the economy as a whole, as well as more value-based wealth on the balance sheets of firms.
2. It means there will be more incentive for intellectual property production, both by firms and by individuals competing in the labor market.
3. It means there will be greater empirical attention paid to intellectual property by economists and sociologists, who both trail far behind legal scholars in their attention paid to IP.
I suspect there will be an increase in academic classes offered with names like “Intellectual Property and Society” and “The Economics of Intellectual Property.”
The bottom-line is that intellectual property are becoming more institutionally established, not less. And the US is more committed than ever to securing better methods of intellectual property valuation.