People / Staff

Michael Mandel

Michael Mandel is the chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute; senior fellow at the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at Wharton (University of Pennsylvania; and president of South Mountain Economics LLC, an economic consulting firm.



By Michael Mandel and Michelle Di Ionno / 8.25.2016

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. […]


By Michael Mandel / 8.24.2016

Which countries should have the right to tax the profits of US-based multinationals that operate globally? A year ago we pointed out that this seemingly arcane question had the potential to become a major point of conflict between the US and the EU. Back then we warned of the potential for an “enormous job-and-revenue grab […]


By Michael Mandel / 8.11.2016

As we’ve repeatedly said, innovation creates jobs, not destroys them. But we’ve also recently pointed out that government has been lagging private sector spending on R&D, and that’s one reason why productivity growth and job creation has been weak. Moreover, PPI’s Will Marshall recently wrote that the Democrats have to resolve their economic identity crisis. So […]


By Michael Mandel / 8.9.2016

PPI was among the first organizations to highlight the business investment drought, starting in 2010 and 2011, way before it became commonly accepted  (see here and here). And our “Investment Heroes” annual ranking was started in 2012 precisely to contrast the companies that were investing heavily in the United States with the many others that chose to pare back. […]


By Michael Mandel / 8.8.2016

Yes, the productivity slump has hit the iron and steel mill industry as well. Robert Samuelson wrote a long piece in the WaPo about productivity growth in the steel industry, arguing that “…[p]roductivity (a.k.a., efficiency) has increased dramatically.” His main source was a very careful academic study by Allan Collard-Wexler of Duke University and Jan De Loecker of Princeton University. […]


By Michael Mandel / 8.2.2016

The ‘wedge’ between productivity growth and average real compensation growth has shrunk to the lowest level in at least fifteen years.* That’s because productivity growth is slowing, not because real compensation growth is accelerating significantly. The top line is the ten-year growth rate of nonfarm business productivity, based on data reported by the Bureau of […]


By Michael Mandel / 7.28.2016

The division between the trade skeptics and the trade supporters in the Democratic Party is on stark display at this week’s convention in Philadelphia. The Progressive Policy Institute favors smart, high-standard  trade agreements, as PPI president Will Marshall  and senior fellow Ed Gerwin recently wrote. Yet both trade skeptics and supporters can agree on one critical point: The government […]


By Michael Mandel / 7.6.2016

One of the important themes of this year’s presidential campaign is the need for economic growth to move beyond the tech hubs and coastal urban areas that have prospered in recent years.  To some degree, this is already happening. Our latest analysis shows that the top 10 App Economy states include Illinois (4) and Michigan […]


By Michael Mandel / 7.5.2016

Donald Trump’s attack on trade, if carried out as President, would be an economic disaster. Connections with the global economy enable the free flow of goods, services, ideas, data and people across national borders.. Countries that make use of those connections have prospered, while countries that have engaged in protectionism have stagnated. We believe that […]


By Michael Mandel / 6.24.2016

The exit of the UK from the EU is and will be a tremendous shock to the global economic and business community. Certainly no one knows what is going to happen in areas such as finance, immigration, and even trade. Nevertheless,  Brexit does nothing to change the fundamental economic problems facing the developed world: Slow […]