Reviving Economic Growth

Policy Proposals from 51 Leading Experts

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If you could wave a magic wand and make one or two policy or institutional changes to brighten the U.S. economy’s long‐​term growth prospects, what would you change and why? That was the question asked to the 51 contributors to this volume. These essays originally appeared in conjunction with a conference on the future of U.S. economic growth held at the Cato Institute in December 2014. Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research at the Cato Institute and editor of this volume, is pleased to share this insightful and provocative collection with a new audience.

The motivation for asking that question should be clear enough to anyone who has been following the dreary economic news of the past few years. Since the Great Recession of 2008–2009, the U.S. economy has experienced the most stubbornly disappointing expansion since World War II.

Reviving Economic Growth offers a wide‐​ranging exploration of policy options from an eclectic group of contributors. Think of this collection as a brainstorming session, not a blueprint for political action. By bringing together thinkers one doesn’t often see in the same publication, the editor’s hope is to encourage fresh thinking about the daunting challenges facing the U.S. economy—and, with luck, to uncover surprising areas of agreement that can pave the way to constructive change.

About the Editor

Brink Lindsey is vice president for research at the Cato Institute. He has written on a wide range of topics including trade policy, globalization, American social and cultural history, and the nature of human capital. His current research focuses on economic growth and the policy barriers that impede it. He is the author of several books including Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter—And More Unequal; The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture; and Against the Dead Hand: The Uncertain Struggle for Global Capitalism.


David B. Audretsch, Philip Auerswald, Ryan Avent, Dean Baker, Heather Boushey, Tyler Cowen, Bowman Cutter, J. Bradford DeLong, Eli Dourado, Lee Drutman, Susan E. Dudley, Richard Florida, William G. Gale, William A. Galston, Edward Glaeser, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Robin Hanson, Douglas Holtz‐​Eakin, Philip K. Howard, Peter Howitt, Daniel Ikenson, Tim Kane, Andrew Kelly, Derek Khanna, Morris M. Kleiner, Arnold Kling, Robert E. Litan, Michael Mandel, Jim Manzi, Donald B. Marron, Megan McArdle, Jeffrey Miron, Enrico Moretti, Alex Nowrasteh, Don Peck, James Pethokoukis, Ramesh Ponnuru, Jonathan Rauch, Reihan Salam, George Selgin, Karl Smith, Dane Stangler, Michael R. Strain, Scott Sumner, Steven Teles, Adam Thierer, Eric Toder, Peter Van Doren, Alan D. Viard, Ben Wildavsky, and Scott Winship.