People / Staff

Michael Mandel

Dr. Michael Mandel is chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, where he supervises PPI’s research and policy work across a wide range of topics, including the data-driven economy, the impact of regulation on innovation, and policies to improve production, investment and job growth in the United States and globally. Mandel was co-principal investigator for a Sloan Foundation grant on “Measuring the Impact of Globalization.” Mandel has testified before Congress on impact of regulation on innovation.

Mandel also holds an appointment as senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as president and founder of South Mountain Economics LLC, which provides expertise on emerging occupations and emerging industries.  South Mountain Economics is best known for its research reports on the App Economy, which have been cited in a recent White House report, and publications such as the New York Times, Bloomberg, Boston Globe, the Financial Times, the Atlantic, Time, and Forbes.

Mandel received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and formerly served as chief economist at BusinessWeek, where he directed the magazine’s coverage of the domestic and global economies. While at BusinessWeek, Michael was named one of the top 100 business journalists of the 20th century for his writings on innovation and growth. He received multiple awards for his work, including the Gerald Loeb Award for Business and Financial Journalism.  He is the author of four books including Rational Exuberance: Silencing the Enemies of Growth and Why the Future Is Better Than You Think. He is currently revising the third edition of his introductory economics textbook, Economics:The Basics.

Writings

Blog

By / 8.3.2017

It’s been well-documented that economic dynamism for many years has been concentrated geographically–in a few tech hubs like SF and NY, in the largest urban areas where young people flock, in coastal states. This geographical concentration appears to have been a major force underlying the 2016 election, where areas left behind by economic prosperity were […]

Blog

By / 7.31.2017

In an earlier post, I estimated that the expansion of ecommerce since 2007 is saving American households 64 million hours per week in shopping time.  What impact does this have on measured productivity? This is not an easy question. Unpaid shopping hours are part of  “household production,” which is generally excluded from official calculations of […]

Blog

By / 7.29.2017

We think of the United States as a low-inflation economy, with an overall price increase of 36% since 2000, or less than 2% a year.  But the fact is, the inflation  performance of different industries has varied greatly since 2000.  For example, the price of construction has gone up more than 100% since 2000, as […]

Blog

By / 7.24.2017

Which one is not like the others? Since 2000, American households have been hit by price increases which far exceed their ability to pay. Necessities like housing and food have skyrocketed in prices. Child care is 81% more expensive, passenger fares for foreign travel are up 63%, financial fees are higher by 41%. Even beer, […]

Publications

By / 7.11.2017

The saying “data is the new oil” is at times referenced by analysts working to assess whether our increasingly digital and data-driven world generates positive impact for our economy and society. However, this saying is imprecise. Data should not be compared to oil – it is not a scarce commodity, is nonrival, and cannot be […]

Blog

By / 7.10.2017

I have consistently argued that ecommerce is boosting employment by creating jobs at fulfillment centers. For example, over the past year, ecommerce jobs have risen by 61,000, while brick-and-mortar retail has fallen by only 7,000. That sounds like a counter-intuitive result, given that ecommerce is supposedly more productive than brick-and-mortar retail. But the increase in […]

Blog

When I was young, oh so many years ago, my parents would take me shopping at Korvette’s, a chain of discount department stores originally based in New York City. But alas, Korvette’s went bankrupt in 1980, just one of hundreds of names on Wikipedia’s long list of defunct department stores. Then, of course, Wikipedia has an equally […]

Publications

By and / 7.3.2017

When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, that initiated a profound and transformative new economic innovation. While central bankers and national leaders struggled with a deep financial crisis and stagnation, the fervent demand for iPhones and the wave of smartphones that followed was a rare force for growth. Today, there are more than 4 billion […]

Blog

By / 6.30.2017

I’ve been writing a lot about ecommerce lately. I would be remiss if I did not address the Amazon offer to buy Whole Foods. I have two thoughts. First, I’m not an antitrust economist. But it strikes me that under ordinary antitrust logic, Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods would ring no alarm bells. Despite the […]

Publications

By / 6.29.2017

In 2016 the United States exported to Europe US$598bn worth of goods and services, and imported $698bn of goods and services. Minus some statistical discrepancies, European countries recorded the inverse flow of imports and exports. For the past century, economists and policymakers have relied on this ‘balancesheet approach to economics to guide their decisions. One […]