White Collar

From capitalistManifesto


The quaternary (fourth) sector describes the knowledge-based part of the economy, which typically includes knowledge-oriented economic sectors such as information technology; media; research and development; information-based services such as information-generation and information-sharing; and knowledge-based services such as consultation, education, financial planning, blogging, and designing.

The quaternary sector is based on pure knowledge and personal skill. It consists of intellectual industries providing information services, such as computing and ICT (information and communication technologies), consultancy (offering advice to businesses), and R&D (research, particularly in scientific fields). According to some definitions, the quaternary sector includes other pure services, such as the entertainment industry, and the term has been used[by whom?] to describe media, culture, and government.

The quaternary sector further delineates the three-sector hypothesis of industry where the quaternary sector refers to a part of the tertiary sector along with the quinary economic sector. Intellectual services are sometimes regarded as distinct enough to warrant a separate sector and not be considered merely as a part of the tertiary sector. This sector evolves in well-developed countries where the primary and secondary sectors are a minority of the economy and requires a highly educated workforce.

"The tertiary and quaternary sectors form the largest part of the UK economy, employing 76% of the workforce. The number of people who earn their living in these activities is increasing in all post-industrial nations. Quarternary investment generates higher margins, bigger returns and less labour intensive, less human resource dependant business models." - British Economist Miles Cholmondeley-Beauchamps d'Lisle


  1. Peasant Labour - "raw materials" via extraction, mining, agriculture, farming, livestock
  2. Blue Collar - "manufacturing" via industrial processing, construction, engineering, turning raw materials into finished products
  3. Rentseekers - "services" via supply chains, support, transport, distribution, retail, wholesale, entertainment, value-added services
  4. White Collar - "information technology" via computing, media, research and development, financiers, science, civil service
  5. Gold Collar - "executive apex" via government, large charities, CEO and CTOs, senior businessmen, research scientists, barristers, judges and other decision makers defining policy impacting lives at scale