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Building a more dynamic and competitive economy

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The existence of vigorous market competition should not be taken for granted, as it often can be undermined both by public policy and natural economic forces. There are many ways in which competition can be impaired, such as when state policymakers subsidize large existing firms rather than support new businesses, or adopt unnecessarily strict licensing rules that limit the ability to work or when network effects make it difficult for startups to offer new services.  However, carefully considered policy reforms can unleash competitive forces, thereby strengthening the link between economic progress and rising living standards.

On June 13, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a forum to explore the most effective policy options to foster a more dynamic and competitive economy. The forum featured introductory remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, and a fireside chat between Steve Case, chairman and CEO, Revolution; and Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

The forum also included two roundtable discussions and a research presentation, featuring: Terry McAuliffe, 72nd Governor of Virginia; Terrell McSweeny, former Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission; John C. Haltiwanger, distinguished university professor, Dudley and Louisa Dillard professor of economics, University of Maryland; Robert Seamans, associate professor, NYU Stern School of Business; Megan J. Smith, CEO, shift7 and 3rd U.S. CTO; Joshua Gans, Jeffrey S. Skoll chair of technical innovation and entrepreneurship, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Aaron Chatterji, associate professor, Duke Fuqua School of Business; and Stacey Vanek Smith, co-host, The Indicator and correspondent, Planet Money, NPR.

The forum coincided with the release of three new Hamilton Project policy proposals on topics including: exploring data and identity portability; removing anticompetitive policies in the health care system; and reforming state policies to support entrepreneurship rather than large incumbent firms. The proposals were released along with a new Hamilton Project report on competition and dynamism in the economy.


1:00 PM Registration Opens

1:30 PM Opening Remarks

Robert E. Rubin
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary;
Co-Chair Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

1:40 PM Fireside Chat

Steve Case
Chairman and CEO, Revolution;
Co-Founder, America Online;
Chairman, Case Foundation

Jason Furman
Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy,
Harvard Kennedy School

2:20 PM Roundtable Discussion: Firm Concentration and Innovation

Joshua Gans
Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical
Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Rotman School of Management,
University of Toronto

Terrell McSweeny
Former Commissioner,
Federal Trade Commission

Robert Seamans
Associate Professor,
NYU Stern School of Business

Megan J. Smith
CEO, shift7
3rd U.S. CTO

Moderator: Jay Shambaugh
Director, The Hamilton Project,
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies,
The Brookings Institution

3:15 PM Break

3:25 PM Research Presentation: Occupational Licensing/Scope of Practice Restrictions

Ryan Nunn
Policy Director, The Hamilton Project,
Fellow, Economic Studies,
The Brookings Institution

3:35 PM Roundtable Discussion: Policies to Support New, Rather Than Big, Firms

Aaron Chatterji
Associate Professor,
Duke Fuqua School of Business

John C. Haltiwanger
Distinguished University Professor,
Dudley and Louisa Dillard Professor of Economics,
University of Maryland

Terry McAuliffe
72nd Governor of Virginia

Moderator: Stacey Vanek Smith
Co-Host, The Indicator
Correspondent, Planet Money,

4:30 PM Forum Adjourns