Innovation Is One Key to Economic Future Success

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Following up on its 28 June 2011 innovation forum, the Hamilton Project (an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution, www.hamiltonproject.org) created a new document detailing A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation for the United States. Drawing from insightful comments by panelists during the event, authors Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney focused on three specific points:

  • Innovation has historically improved the US standard of living through higher wages, lower prices, and health advancements.
  • The pace of innovation has slowed, and the gains from innovation have not benefitted all Americans.
  • In today’s increasingly competitive global economy, current US policies are not doing enough to promote innovation.

“Since the 1970s,“ they wrote, “the pace of innovation has slowed, leading to lower overall wage growth for American workers. Moreover, those gains that have been made have not been shared equally across society.”

The Hamilton Project’s forum, “PhDs, Policies, and Patents: Innovation and America’s Future,” explored the evolving role of innovation in driving broad-based economic growth in the United States and creating a policy environment necessary to foster new ideas in science, technology, and business. For more information, download the full policy memo: www.brookings.edu/∼/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/0805_innovation_greenstone_looney/08_ innovation_greenstone_looney.pdf.

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