In today's ultra-competitive global economy, intangibles are increasingly taking centre stage in firms' business strategies and investors' valuations. Physical and financial assets are becoming commodities, yielding at best a competitive return on investment. In their place, intangible assetssuch as patents, brands, unique business processes, breakthrough scientific discoveries, and strategic alliances are what firms are using to create dominant market positions, control risk, generate abnormal profits, and achieve growth and wealth. The dramatic rise and fall of high-technology company valuations over the past five years has brought the unusual economic characteristics of intangible assets into the public arena. The concurrent advantages and vulnerabilities of intangible-intensive companies has highlighted the importance ofhaving an in-depth understanding of the economics of intangibles and developing tools to better manage and evaluate them.This Reader provides that understanding by bringing together the best research and advocacy on intangibles. The chapters provide a comprehensive tableau of both rigorous perspectives and empirical evidence about intangible assets by scholars and policy makers in accounting, economics, finance, andinformation technology. As such, the Reader both informs and sets a solid foundation for the next generation of challenging questions that need to be addressed.The Reader has four sections: Section I explains why intangibles have become so important in the modern economy. Section II investigates the impact of specific kinds of intangibles on firm performance and equity market values. Section III documents the severe adverse effects of the informationaldeficiencies that are created by the accounting and financial reporting rules that govern intangibles. Finally, the chapters in Section IV call for improved disclosure and measurement of intangibles in financial statements, and make concrete suggestions for what such solutions should look like.