The Knowledge Economy

Publications

By / 9.5.2017

The last retail revolution, the rise of the big box store, was not a good thing for the typical sales clerk or cashier. “Warehouse clubs” and “supercenters” started popping up everywhere in the late 1980s. Retail productivity as measured by the government doubled from 1987 to 2007, as this new retail format was more efficient […]

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 […]

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 […]

Press

By / 7.20.2017

Tap Tapley, the legendary Outward Bound instructor, is said to have described the crux of the experiential outdoor experiential learning school’s approach as “inducing anxiety and then releasing it in a constructive manner.” And for a half century, Outward Bound courses have done just that – putting students in challenging and uncomfortable situations with real […]

By / 7.3.2017

WASHINGTON—The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) today released a new report, “The Rise of the Australian App Economy,” which estimates 113,000 workers are employed in the Australian App Economy, a growth of at least 11 percent since 2014. It also calculates app Intensity — the number of App Economy jobs in a country as a percentage of […]

Good news: The robots may not destroy us after all. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column that outlined the worries of big thinkers such as Stephen Hawking and Andrew Yang who are predicting a wave of job destruction caused by automation, robots and artificial intelligence. Michael Mandel begs to differ. Mandel is chief […]

Blog

By / 9.8.2017

Based on newly revised Bureau of Economic Analysis data, we find that rising labor compensation for health care workers accounted for $55 billion, or 40%, of the increase in personal health care spending in 2016. By comparison, in May, 2017, we calculated that pharmaceuticals accounted for only $15 billion, or 11% of the rise in personal health care […]

By / 9.6.2017

Kodak is regularly held up as an example of how a “real” innovation company behaves. For example, a recent New York Times story compared Apple unfavorably to Kodak, saying. “Think about the contrast between George Eastman, who pioneered fundamental innovations in photography, and Steve Jobs,” Mr. Summers wrote in 2014. “While Eastman’s innovations and their […]

By / 9.5.2017

The expansion of ecommerce is a significant plus for the income and living standards of high-school educated workers, not a minus. That’s welcome news, as demonstrated in our latest paper, “How Ecommerce Creates Jobs and Reduces Income Inequality:” We estimate that ecommerce jobs in fulfillment centers and ecommerce companies rose by 400,000 from December 2007 […]