Good Capitalism Bad Capitalism and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity

Author: William J. Baumol
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300134797
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Imagine this: a mere century ago, the purchasing power of an average American was one-tenth of what it is today. But what will it take to sustain that growth through the next century? And what can be said about economic growth to aspiring nations seeking higher standards of living for their citizens? In this important book, William Baumol, Robert Litan, and Carl Schramm contend that the answers to these questions lie within capitalist economies, though many observers make the mistake of believing that capitalism is of a single kind. Writing in an accessible style, the authors dispel that myth, documenting four different varieties of capitalism, some "Good" and some "Bad" for growth. The authors identify the conditions that characterise Good Capitalism: the right blend of entrepreneurial and established firms, which can vary among countries; as well as the features of Bad Capitalism. They examine how countries catching up to the United States can move faster toward the economic frontier, while laying out the need for United States itself to stick to and reinforce the recipe for growth that has enabled it to be the leading economic force in the world. This path-breaking book is a must read for any one who cares about global growth and how to ensure America's economic future.

The Cost Disease

Author: William J. Baumol
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300179286
Format: PDF
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Traces the fast-rising prices of health care and education in the United States and other major industrial nations, examining the underlying causes which have to do with the nature of providing labor-intensive services.

A Capitalism for the People

Author: Luigi Zingales
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465038700
Format: PDF, Docs
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Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment—paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism—on a country's economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better. In A Capitalism for the People, Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class. Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning—often with great anger—whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls “the lighthouse” of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people—not for the good of big business. Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how our current circumstances aren't all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether we can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.

The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution

Author: Robert E. Litan
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815714316
Format: PDF, Docs
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This volume contains detailed analyses of how the Internet revolution could bring economic benefits—primarily improved productivity and higher quality—in the eight sectors of the U.S. economy that collectively account for over 70 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP): automobile manufacturing and sales, non-auto manufacturing, higher education and private-sector training, financial services, government, health care, retailing, and trucking.

Beyond the Dot coms

Author: Robert E. Litan
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815798125
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In just a few years, the Internet has had a visible impact on the daily lives of many Americans. But the recent demise of many of the "dot coms" that symbolized the Internet revolution has raised warning flags about its future. Until now, discussion of the impact of the Internet on the economy has been mostly speculation. In Beyond the Dot.coms, two of the nation's most respected economists articulate the anticipated economic impact of the Internet over the next five years. Drawing from detailed research conducted by the Brookings Task Force on the Internet and the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) Internet Task Force (see page 10), Robert Litan and Alice Rivlin address the Internet's potential impacts on productivity, prices, and market structure. The research suggests that the most significant economic impact of the Internet will be its potential to increase productivity growth in the existing economy—with cheaper transactions, greater management efficiency, increased competition and broadened markets, more effective marketing and pricing, and increased consumer choice, convenience, and satisfaction. The greatest impact may not be felt in e-commerce, but rather in a wide range of "old economy" arenas, including health care and government.

Going Digital

Author: Robert E. Litan
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815716419
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The information age technology revolution promises enormous benefits to the U.S. and global economies. Yet if those benefits are to be fully realized, policymakers in the U.S. and abroad must rethink some fundamental premises about how economic activity has traditionally been governed. Should we continue to regulate industries the way we have in the past? Does the digital age require a new approach to antitrust enforcement? To best facilitate global electronic commerce, what changes are needed in intellectual property law, professional licensing requirements, laws governing privacy and content, and policies relating to standards? And what steps, if any, are required to best ensure that all citizens have access to the new technologies? This book examines these and other policy issues. It draws on a spring 1997 conference sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Cato Institute where leading experts in various fields related to information technology presented their views. Copublished with the Cato Institute

Building Inclusive Financial Systems

Author: Michael S. Barr
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815708408
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Broad-based and inclusive financial systems significantly raise growth, alleviate poverty, and expand economic opportunity. Households, small enterprises, and the rural poor often have difficulty obtaining financial services for a multitude of reasons, including transaction costs, perceived risk, inadequate infrastructure, and information barriers. Yet many financial institutions are now making profitable inroads into underserved markets through formal banking, investment in equities, venture capital, postal banks, and microfinance. Access to Finance addresses the challenges of making financial systems more inclusive, emulating successful ventures in new markets, and utilizing technologies and government policies to support the expansion of financial access. The contributors examine many dimensions of financial access, including: • Measuring financial access • Understanding the impact of expanded access • Examining alternative institutional models • Exploring new technologies and information infrastructure • Evaluating government policies toward outreach.

The Liability Maze

Author: Peter W. Huber
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815720188
Format: PDF
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With an ever-increasing number of liability lawsuits, are corporations electing to play it safe rather than risk the uncertainties accompanying innovation? In The Liability Maze experts address the issues surrounding safety and innovation and present the most detailed and comprehensive study to date on the actual impact of U.S. liability law. In recent decades it has been widely assumed that liability laws promote safety by significantly raising the price companies must pay for negligence, product defects and accidents. More recently, others have suggested that the broad and unpredictable sweep of these laws actually deters innovation. The risks of lawsuits are so great that corporations are showing more caution in product innovation than ever before. The contributors focus on five sectors of the economy where the liability system appears to have had the greatest effects, positive or negative: the private aircraft, automobile, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, and the medical profession. They suggest that in many sectors liability law has hampered innovation. In others it has stimulated safety improvements, although perhaps not so much as vigilant safety regulations.

Financial Gatekeepers

Author: Yasuyuki Fuchita
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815729820
Format: PDF
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Developed country capital markets have devised a set of institutions and actors to help provide investors with timely and accurate information they need to make informed investment decisions. These actors have become known as "financial gatekeepers" and include auditors, financial analysts, and credit rating agencies. Corporate financial reporting scandals in the United States and elsewhere in recent years, however, have called into question the sufficiency of the legal framework governing these gatekeepers. Policymakers have since responded by imposing a series of new obligations, restrictions, and punishments—all with the purpose of strengthening investor confidence in these important actors. F inancial Gatekeepers provides an in-depth look at these new frameworks, especially in the United States and Japan. How have they worked? Are further refinements appropriate? These are among the questions addressed in this timely and important volume. Contributors include Leslie Boni (University of New Mexico), Barry Bosworth (Brookings Institution), Tomoo Inoue (Seikei University), Zoe-Vonna Palmrose (University of Southern California), Frank Partnoy (University of San Diego School of Law), George Perry (Brookings Institution), Justin Pettit (UBS), Paul Stevens (Investment Company Institute), Peter Wallison (American Enterprise Institute)