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 / 12.1.2016

Last year Graham Allison of Harvard wrote an article for the Atlantic entitled “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?”  Allison noted that in 12 of 16 cases over the last 500 years in which there was a rapid shift in the relative power of a rising nation that threatened to […]

Blog

By / 11.30.2016

Everyone has seen this chart, or something similar, recently. It tracks the production of the manufacturing sector over the past twenty years. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Since 1996 manufacturing industrial production has risen almost 40%, despite intense global competition.   But now let’s add another line to the chart–this time, manufacturing industrial production after we […]

Blog

By / 11.28.2016

In a post-election  post we showed how American workers are being failed by the physical industries, which had dramatically underperformed the digital industries across a wide range of metrics, including productivity, compensation, and job growth.  This sharp and growing economic gap between the Digital Nation and the Physical Nation had profound political consequences, since the Physical Nation […]

Publications

By / 11.16.2016

Japan has the potential to play a key role in the next global economic boom, which will be based around the application of new mobile networks to physical industries such as manufacturing and transportation to boost consumer welfare, and increase productivity, real wages and job growth. Indeed, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s emphasis on structural reform […]

Publications

The introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 initiated a profound and transformative new economic innovation. Today, less than a decade later, there are 4 billion smartphone subscriptions globally, an unprecedented rate of adoption for a new technology. Mobile data usage is rising at 55% per year, a stunning number that shows its revolutionary impact. More […]

Blog

By / 11.13.2016

Here are some bullet points on the economics of the election: America is divided between the Digital Nation and the Physical Nation. The Digital Nation includes tech, entertainment, publishing, telecom, finance, and professional services such as management consulting, accounting, computer programming, design. The Physical Nation includes manufacturing, mining, construction, retail, transportation, health care, and the […]

Blog

By / 11.1.2016

Google’s decision to pause its roll-out of Google Fiber to new cities is an important data point in our understanding of both the economics of telecom and the economics of innovation. The announcement said that: In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue. […]

Publications

By and / 10.13.2016

All around the world we are seeing the rise of the App Economy— jobs, companies, and economic growth created by the production and distribution of mobile applications (“apps”) that run on smartphones. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, the App Economy has grown from nothing to a powerful economic force that rivals existing industries.1 In this paper we […]

Blog

By / 10.12.2016

Suppose you were counselling your college-age child about what fields to consider. Where would you tell them to start? The short answer: Tech and health. Just look at the numbers: Since 2007, when the current tech boom started, employment in computer and mathematical occupations–including software developers and network administrators–has grown by more than 900,000 jobs. Employment in […]

Publications

By and / 10.11.2016

It’s become conventional wisdom that corporate America has fallen victim to myopia and short-termism. Companies are spending billions buying back stock that could have gone to innovation and investment. Corporate executives have compensation packages tied to stock prices, which focuses their attention on quarterly earnings rather than long-term growth. Investors want immediate results, rather than […]