The Evolution of the Knowledge Economy

This paper revisits the definition of the knowledge economy (Beck, 1992) and investi-gates changes in knowledge-based industries between 1991 and 2001. Using the General Edu-cational Development Reasoning (GEDR) scale (1-6), non-farm industries were classified as higher knowledge-based industries (GEDR level ≥ 5). The 2001 U.S. national industry-specific occupational employment and wage estimates data were analyzed to identify knowledge-based industries and compared with the knowledge-based industries identified in 1991. There were 41 knowledge-based industries in 1991. In 2001, knowledge-based industries had in-creased by 50 % to 64. Between 1991 and 2001, 27 of the original industries remained classified as knowledge-based industries, and seven industries became non-knowledge-based indus-tries. In 2001, 37 new industries emerged as knowledge-based industries as a result of an in-crease in their knowledge ratio. Further, the composition of the knowledge-ratio of industries classified as knowledge-based has changed considerably over the period.

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Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, 38, 2
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