Improving labor productivity is important to sustain economic output and power long-run growth—yet productivity growth has generally declined over the past half century. Emily Moss, Ryan Nunn, and Jay Shambaugh consider explanations for the slowdown in productivity growth as well as the public policies that can help restore it.
A Hamilton Project proposal by Lisa Larrimore Ouellette and Heidi Williams of Stanford University offers several reforms to the U.S. patent system. Improving the effectiveness of the patent system can catalyze technological innovation, a key driver of long-term economic and productivity growth.
John Van Reenen of MIT and the Sloan School of Management proposes an ambitious Grand Innovation Challenge Fund that would increase U.S. investment in research and development (R&D). The fund will give a much-needed boost to innovation and productivity and tackle some of the most important challenges of our age.
Immigration has wide-ranging impacts on society and culture, and its economic effects are no less substantial. This document provides a set of economic facts about the role of immigration in the U.S. economy, describing the patterns of recent immigration (levels, legal status, country of origin, and U.S. state of residence), the characteristics of immigrants (education, occupations, and employment), and the effects of immigration on the economy (economic output, wages, innovation, fiscal resources, and crime).
Over the past few decades there have been troubling indications that dynamism and competition in the U.S. economy have declined. Markets are more concentrated than they were a few decades ago, and entrepreneurship is less common, with both the number and employment share of new firms well below the levels of previous decades. Carefully assessing these trends as they relate to public policy is necessary to achieving a more competitive, productive economy that generates broadly shared growth.
Users contribute information to many digital platforms. Regulators have recognized that when such data cannot be easily moved between platforms, this may lock those users in to incumbents and prevent innovative competitors from emerging. Gans argues that the same type of barriers exists with respect to networks of users. Users who move between platforms could lose the benefits of communications within their social network. He proposes to generalize data portability to a broader notion of identity portability whereby messages between verified connections can flow between platforms, thereby mitigating these broader switching costs and promoting competition.