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 / 5.12.2017

This post updates our March 2017 paper on ecommerce jobs, based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics  (we also call this sector “advanced distribution”) . Here’s what we find: Since the last business cycle peak, December 2007, the number of ecommerce jobs is up by 397,000. These gains are being driven […]

Blog

By / 5.9.2017

One of the bright spots for the Illinois labor market in recent years has been the App Economy. By the estimate in our just-released report, Illinois had 72,000 App Economy jobs as of December 2016, ranked number 6 in the country, just behind Massachusetts.  These jobs have all been created since 2007, when Apple introduced the […]

Blog

By / 5.3.2017

In this paper PPI estimates that App Economy employment in the United States totaled 1.729 million as of December 2016.  Based on our previous work, the number of App Economy jobs in the United States has nearly quadrupled over the past five years, growing at a 30 percent annual rate. Looking at the top mobile operating systems, […]

Blog

By / 4.7.2017

There is a huge debate about whether automation leads to an aggregate loss of jobs. On the one side are those who believe that robots are about to unleash a massive wave of job destruction, rendering most of us superfluous. On the other side are those who are skeptical about the value of new technologies, and believe […]

Op-eds and Articles

By / 4.4.2017

Think back to the first half of the 20th century, when superstar companies of the likes of Ford, General Motors, General Electric, DuPont and Bethlehem Steel literally grew from nothing to employ hundreds of thousands of workers. These innovative market leaders, notably feted by business historians such as Alfred Chandler, pioneered new products and production […]

Other

By / 3.30.2017

All across the country, entrepreneurs are founding and building new companies that use technology in innovative ways. The American startup ecosystem — the envy of the world — has spread outside of the coasts and high-profile tech hubs, such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York City, to other parts of the country. Startup activity […]

PPI In the News

PPI Chief Economic Strategist Michael Mandel was quoted in USA TODAY regarding his recent report, “How the Startup Economy is Spreading Across the Country” on start-ups and entrepreneurial growth across the country: “I was surprised by cities in the Midwest that made the list,” says Michael Mandel of PPI, who conducted the study. E-commerce contributed […]

Other

By / 3.29.2017

It is March 2017. Square, the small business payments startup founded in 2009, is hiring for its customer support operation in St. Louis. Fintech startup Greensky, founded in 2006, is expanding in Atlanta. Seattle-based Zulily, the ecommerce startup founded in 2009 and bought by QVC in 2015, is hiring for its fulfillment center in Bethlehem, […]

Other

By / 3.28.2017

It is amazing how many of our nation’s biggest challenges can be addressed by a simple formula: faster growth more broadly shared. From infrastructure to healthcare, education to national security, crime to creativity, a bigger pie and a wider winner’s circle go far towards solving them. A simple comparison of potential growth rates tells the […]

Blog

By / 3.10.2017

In our new paper, we develop a methodology for tracking ecommerce jobs and pay. Applying that methodology to today’s jobs report, we find that the ecommerce sector has added 97,000 jobs over the past year. This figure includes fulfillment centers. Surprisingly, general retail–which includes the retailers competing most directly with ecommerce–has added 27,000 jobs over […]