Innovation and Economic Growth

Researchers today are trying to understand how information technology affects innovation, productivity, and economic growth while studying the impact of political and legal ground rules. Academics featured here are looking at the potential to create jobs and keep policymakers aware of emerging trends in technology.

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Our Pick of the Decade’s Eight Best Young Economists

The Economist names MIT’s Heidi Williams among "the decade's eight best young economists." Professor Williams is lauded for her pursuit of a "more rigorous understanding of technological progress in medicine and health care."

Heidi Williams
Source: The Economist
December 18, 2018

Big Tech Is Way Too Big

"There's been a profound change in the tech economy, and I think one that's very dangerous for the United States' economy. Right now, what we're seeing is a lack of innovation. A lack of starts. That's why I think it's important to have a shake-up of the industry every so often." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Tim Wu
Source: CNN
December 17, 2018

Facial Recognition Has to Be Regulated to Protect the Public, Says AI Report

"It’s time to regulate facial recognition and affect recognition. Claiming to ‘see’ into people’s interior states is neither scientific nor ethical." — Kate Crawford, Distinguished Research Professor, New York University

Kate Crawford
Source: MIT’s Technology Review
December 6, 2018

Facebook Increasingly Reliant on A.I. To Predict Suicide Risk

"The way it would happen would be we would take something that everybody agrees is terrible — something like suicide, which is epidemic, something like child pornography, something like terrorism — so these early things, and then if they show promise in these sectors, we broaden them to more and more things. And that's a concern." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: NPR’s All Things Considered
November 17, 2018

Manufacturers Say Their Worker Shortage Is Getting Worse. Here’s Why

"We’re undergoing rapid technological change, and there just aren’t people with certain skills out there, so it’s hard for firms and manufacturers to hire people with the skills to handle the technology." — James Bessen, Law Lecturer, Boston University

James Bessen
Source: PBS Newshour
November 16, 2018

Humans Are Winning the Battle With Robots

"We see in U.S. manufacturing a race between technology and human capital." While some companies like electric-car maker Tesla Inc. are racing to automate almost every process on the factory floor, he said many executives are reluctant to sink investments in equipment that "will be hard to reverse." — Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics, Stanford University

Nicholas Bloom
Source: The Wall Street Journal
November 1, 2018

H-1B Lottery Change Would Help Google, Facebook, Apple and Hurt Outsourcers

"It seems like in an era where we, and I believe rightfully so, beat up on the administration for a bunch of thing. This is one that you’re like, 'Hey, I think that makes sense.'" — William Kerr, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

William R. Kerr
Source: The Mercury News
October 25, 2018

The Techlash Is Coming

"Technology is changing quickly and things are happening and so there is a certain amount of anxiety, but I do believe that will be overcome as people learn the value of tech." — Hal Varian, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Hal R. Varian
Source: The Globe and Mail
October 22, 2018

The Race Is On After Feds Pave Way for Driverless Trucks

"They understand that things may happen with autonomous vehicles that wouldn't happen with human drivers. They're saying there may be fewer accidents, but there will also be different accidents, and we need to plan for that." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: U.S. News & World Report
October 15, 2018

Glen Weyl on Technology and Social Innovation

While technology flourished, we "did not allow our social wisdom and social infrastructure to balance that out. I think it's killing equality and structure of our society, so I think we need to regain that spirit of being open to those fundamental social innovations." — Glen Weyl, Principal Researcher, Microsoft

E. Glen Weyl
Source: Wired
October 14, 2018
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TAP Blog

MIT’s Heidi Williams Named as One of the Decade’s Eight Best Young Economists

Professor Heidi Williams is lauded by The Economist for her pursuit of a "more rigorous understanding of technological progress in medicine and health care."

TAP Staff Blogger

Fact Sheets

High Skilled Immigration Reform

The United States immigration policy is the set of laws and provisions that regulates the entry and the stay of non-US citizens on national territory. High-skilled, college-educated immigrants contribute to scientific and technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and job-creation in the U.S.

Featured Article

The Big Data Boom Is the Innovation Story of Our Time

This article provides a lay summary of recent developments in business uses of big data sets.

By: Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee