There have long been markets in tin, cocoa, silver and thelike. There used to be security in thinking that somewhere therewas a product, something you could touch and see. Now thereare new markets in abstractions, trade in ideas and knowledge.Everyone has knowledge but there used to be no way to tradeit ------except through jobs. That simple fact of economic lifewas the basis for white collar employment for centuries. Thewhole job culture grew up because there was no alternative wayto sell knowledge , other then the worker or manager providing, for a fixed price, his or herknowledge to an employer to own or control. The quantity of knowledge provided has typicallybeen measured in time.

  But today we stand at the threshold of a new era. The information economy has matured andbecome smarter. According to many business commentators, we are now living in a knowledgeeconomy .There has always been a market for knowledge, of course. The publishing industry isbased on it. But today the internet is making the distribution of knowledge ever easier. The dayswhen the publisher decided what got published are over. Anyone with a PC and a modem can talkto the world. This is reducing the friction in the knowledge economy.

  Everyone has knowledge of whatever industry she or he is in. say you are a computer dealer,for example. Over the years your have complied a list of the ten best lowest price places to buywholesale computer equipment. Now you can sell your knowledge to newer, younger computerdealers who have no way to build up this knowledge without losing thousands of pounds finding itout the hard way. Until now, such knowledge remained securely locked in the recipient’s head,accumulated and then worthlessly withered away. This no longer needs to be the case. Suchknowledge can be sold via websites.

  Knowledge has a distinct advantage in today’s marketplace. It’s a renewable resource. Betteryet, its worth actually increases, . “knowledge is the only asset that growss with use. “ observesScanford University Professor Paul Romer. But what exactly is knowledge and how can it bepackaged to trade on an open market” “ knowledge is experiential information, intelligence appliedthorough and gained from experience.” Say Josenph Pine and James Gilmore in their book TheExperience Economy.

  The value of knowledge often depends on variables such as time and the credibility of theseller.Certain knowledge may have a very limited shelf life. In sights concerning how to set up aninternet business in one country, might be worth a fortune on one day and nothing the next ,depending on changes in government policy. Markets in knowledge will be significance for onething. They represent one of the most original uses of the web technology. In some corner of theglobe there is a company wanting to source plastic widgets from Poland, and somewhere elseanother company that wishes to set up a plastics factory there. It’s simply a case of connectingthe two. is a good example of a knowledge trader. It is targeted at food servicemanagers throughout the hospitality industry. “we started with the context rather than extractingmoney from suppliers. “ explains founder Mike Day. “ we offer food service professionals interactivesupport to increase sales and profits. People don’t want another one-dimensional site full ofadvertising that doesn’t help them to do their job more effectively,it has to be customisedoffering real solutions to real problems. “ the site’s features include access to online training and atariff tracker to restaurants can check prices throughout the sector.

  15. what point is made in the first paragraph?

  A Interest in commodity markets has decreased.

  B Overall levels of expertise have improved.

  C Opportunities to exploit your knowledge were limited in the past

  D External market forces have meant knowledge is underpriced.

  16 what are we told about the current impact of the internet in the

  second paragraph?

  A publishers benefit from their exploitation of the internet.

  B the internet has made it easier to analyse business trends.

  C It is difficult to calculate the true economic value of the internet.

  D The internet facilitates the development of the knowledge economy.

  17 In the third paragraph, what does the writer say about knowledge?

  A Acquiring knowledge can be expensive

  B The most valuable knowledge concerns IT

  C Trading knowledge raises issues of security.

  D New businesses find it hard to trade in knowledge.

  18. What point is made about knowledge in the fourth paragraph?

  A It provides specialist information

  B Its appeal lies in its exclusivity

  C it can generate new ideas

  D Its value accumulates.

  19 which application of knowledge does the writer regard as particularly useful?

  A analyzing manufacturing trends

  B introducing compatible parties

  C interpreting time constraints

  D advising on legislation

  20 what key feature is provided by

  A approaches that reflect the provider’s own experience

  B access to appropriately trained potential employees.

  C advice which directly benefits the bottom line

  D advertising which is carefully targeted