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Slow, gradual change, on the other hand, is something that politicians find very hard to respond to.

Returns are to scarcity. And scarcity, for firms, comes from building advantages that are distinctive and cannot be easily replicated.

In intangible-intensive firms, there's a premium on managers who can share information both up and down the organisation, and keep loyal worker sticking to the firm.

A fall in the price of information might lead to less authority.

Insight: the benchmark of a manager's performance the coordination efficiency of the market. To "beat the market" is to carry out the job of coordination more efficiently that the market.

Why then do firms exist if markets do a pretty good job of coordination? Coase's answer: firms do a cheaper job of coordination than markets.

In a noncentrally planned economy, if pencil prices rise, more graphite is mined, more trees are felled, and more wood is transported. No personal authority is required, since the price system issues instructions.

So to an economist, the question "what are managers for?" hides a deeper question: "What's the role of authority in an economy?"

in an intangible-rich economy, the pressure to compete pushes companies toward large scale and an emphasis on management

Effective rules, institutions, and norms can encourage investment.

new technological infrastructure is most useful in conjunction with new ways of working and without these new ways of working may not be very useful at all.

After houses and offices, the second type of urban infrastructure that is important for intangible investment are places where people can come together to interact.

It is costly and time-consuming to build new houses and offices in many of the world's most prosperous cities. Some of these costs reflect the need to build safely or to minimise disruption—that is to say, they force builders to bear some of the costs that new buildings entail.

Infrastructure: Structure that underpins the way society works. Rules, norms, common knowledge, and institutions are all intangible infrastructure.

An intangible-rich economy needs different sorts of physical infrastructure; it also has a greater need for intangible infrastructure: the standards, rules, and norms that underpin businesses' intangible investment.

Openness to experience seems to be important for the kind of symbolic-analysis jobs that proliferate as intangibles become more common.

"openness to new experiences" as a psychological trait.

In an intangible economy, the ability to appropriate spillovers and make the most of synergies is prized.

Intangible investments explains wealth inequality in two ways:
1. The rise in value of prime urban properties which are in high demands for the spillover and synergy opportunities that they offer.
2. The increase in tax competition as a result of the geographical mobility of intangibles, making it harder for governments to tax capital more.

Intangible assets are, on the whole, more geographically mobile than tangible assets.

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Isaac Su

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