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.



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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


By / 10.4.2016

By all accounts, Donald Trump used huge real estate losses in the early 1990s to pay little or no taxes in subsequent years.  In other words, he “income-averaged” his bad years and his good years. That seems to make perfect sense to many tax experts. And the eminently reasonable Megan McCardle of Bloomberg wrote a piece […]


By / 9.30.2016

According to PPI estimates, rising labor costs accounted for almost $65 billion in added health care costs in 2015, or 47 percent of the total increase in personal health care spending (as reported by the latest projections from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid). By contrast, IMS reports that net spending on prescription drugs […]


By / 9.29.2016

The FCC chose to ‘delete‘ (their word) discussion of its “set-top box rule” from today’s meeting. As we wrote two weeks ago, the FCC’s proposed rule appeared to put the commission in the position of rewriting copyright law and setting up a licensing board for apps.  The licensing board for apps is particularly disturbing, because it represents an entirely […]


By / 9.13.2016

Does the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have the authority to rewrite copyright law and license apps? This Thursday the Senate Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing for the FCC, giving the committee members the opportunity to ask FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler this very relevant question. Wheeler has proposed a plan by which payTV operators […]


By and / 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 / 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 / 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 […]