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Manuel Castells states that information economy is not mutually exclusive with manufacturing economy. He finds that some countries such as Germany and Japan exhibit the informatization of manufacturing processes. In a typical conceptualization, however, information economy is considered a "stage" or "phase" of an economy, coming after stages of hunting, agriculture, and manufacturing. This conceptualization can be widely observed regarding information society, a closely related but wider concept.
There are numerous characterizations of the transformations some economies have undergone. Service economy, high-tech economy, late-capitalism, post-fordism, and global economy are among the most frequently used terms, having some overlaps and contradictions among themselves. Closer terms to information economy would include knowledge economy and post-industrial economy.
See also 
- Digital economy
- Electronic business
- Electronic commerce
- Information superhighway
- Information market
- Information revolution
- Information society
- Intellectual property
- Creative industry
- Knowledge economy
- Knowledge market
- Knowledge policy
- Virtual economy
Also, see The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker(1966) Drucker describes the manual worker (page 2) that works with his hands and produces "stuff". The knowledge worker (page 3) works with his head and produces ideas, knowledge, and information.
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Additional reading 
- Boyett, Joseph H. And Jimmie T. Boyett. 2001. The Guru Guide to the Knowledge Economy. John Wiley& Sons. John Wiley & Sons
- Cozel, Diane. 1997. The Weightless World. MIT Press.
- Evans, Philip B. and Thomas S. Wurster. 2000. Blown to Bits. Harvard Business School Press.
- Mcgee, James and Lawrence Prusak. 1993. Managing Information Strategically. Random House
- Negroponte, Nicholas. 1996. Being Digital.
- Rayport, Jeffrey F. and John J. Sviokla. 1995. Exploiting the Virtual Value Chain. in: Harvard Business Review (no. 1995)
- Rifkin, Jeremy. 2000. The Age of Access. Penguin Putnam.
- Schwartz, Evan I. 1999. Digital Darwinism. Broadway Books.
- Shapiro, Carl and Hal R. Varian. 1999. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy. Harvard Business School Press.
- Tapscott, Donald. 1996. The Digital Economy. McGraw-Hill.