Home > Teoria > The Commodification of Knowledge and Information: New Working Paper Version

The Commodification of Knowledge and Information: New Working Paper Version

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The the new version of my GPERC working paper with Rodrigo Teixeira is now online.

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The Commodification of Knowledge and Information

In this chapter 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 chapter critically revisits Marx’s own writings on the commodification of knowledge and how the immaterial labor 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 labor hypothesis. Lastly, we analyze 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 chapter we present empirical estimates of the magnitudes of knowledge-rents.

Key-words: knowledge-commodities, knowledge-rents, value theory, Marx, immaterial labor

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Rotta, T. and Teixeira, R. (2018) The Commodification of Knowledge and Information. GPERC Working Paper n.60.  [Abstract] and [PDF]

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