Productivity and American Leadership by William J. Baumol
The Long View

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Synopsis

Those who announce the demise of American's position as an economic world leader are, like the author of Mark Twain's obituary, a bit premature. "Productivity and American Leadership "examines and analyzes the long run productivity performance of the United States, comparing it with that of other industrialized countries. It shows that the U.S. record, both recent and over longer periods, is far better than is widely believed, although the authors offer no grounds for complacency. Methods of measuring productivity, their appropriate uses, and their implications for well being are covered and policies are proposed that will lead to a more productive economy. The books unique long term focus reveals that while the United States may currently be lagging behind other industrialized nations in terms of productivity growth, there is no evidence of a slowing of productivity growth in U.S. manufacturing or in our share of manufacturing employment in the industrialized world. Other industrialized economies are learning from the United States (as well as from one another) and are gradually approaching our productivity levels, while the United States returns to "normal" historical rates after a brief period of extraordinary postwar growth. "Productivity and American Leadership "examines numerous underlying factors that bring about changes in productivity - the shift from a manufacturing to a service economy, the movement toward a more information centered economy, savings and investment rates, changes in education and the key question of whether growth, by depleting the worlds natural resources, must mortgage the future. William J. Baumol is Professor of Economics at Princeton University and NewYork University. Sue Anne Batey Blackman is Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Economics at Princeton University. Edward N. Wolff is Professor of Economies at New York University.
 

About William J. Baumol

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William Jack Baumol was born in the South Bronx, New York on February 22, 1922. He served in the Army during World War II and got a job at the Agriculture Department, where he worked on allocating grain supplies to starving countries. He graduated from City College and enrolled in the London School of Economics in 1947, after initially being rejected. Less than six weeks after school started, he was hired to become a member of the faculty. He taught at Princeton University from 1949 until 1970 and then taught at New York University from 1971 until his retirement in 2014. As an economist, he identified Baumol's cost disease, which explains why the cost of services, like haircuts and college educations, rises faster than the cost of goods, like T-shirts. He published dozens of books, hundreds of papers, and several congressional testimonies on entrepreneurs, environmental policy, corporate finance, stock sales, the economics of Broadway theaters, inflation, and competition and monopolies. He died on May 4, 2017 at the age of 95.
 
Published October 8, 1991 by The MIT Press. 407 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction