Better Capitalism: Renewing the Entrepreneurial Strength of the American Economy

Hardcover | September 25, 2012

byRobert E. Litan, Carl J. Schramm

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In the wake of the Great Recession and America's listless recovery from it, economists, policymakers, and media pundits have argued at length about what has gone wrong with the American capitalist system. Even so, few constructive remedies have emerged. This welcome book cuts through the chatter and offers a detailed, nonideological, and practical blueprint to restore the vigor of the American economy.

Better Capitalism extends and significantly expands on the insights of the authors' widely praised previous book, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, co-written with William Baumol. In Better Capitalism, Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm focus on the huge—but often unrecognized—importance of entrepreneurship to overall economic growth. They explain how changes in seemingly unrelated policy arenas—immigration, education, finance, and federal support of university research—can accelerate America's recovery from recession and spur the nation's rate of growth in output while raising living standards. The authors also outline an innovative energy strategy and discuss the potential benefits of government belt-tightening steps. Sounding an optimistic note when gloomy predictions are the norm, Litan and Schramm show that, with wise and informed policymaking, the American entrepreneurial engine can rally and the true potential of the U.S. economy can be unlocked.

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In the wake of the Great Recession and America's listless recovery from it, economists, policymakers, and media pundits have argued at length about what has gone wrong with the American capitalist system. Even so, few constructive remedies have emerged. This welcome book cuts through the chatter and offers a detailed, nonideological, a...

Robert E. Litan is vice president for research and policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. He lives in Fairway, KS. Carl J. Schramm is a visiting scientist at MIT. He lives in Baltimore, MD. For ten years he was president of the Kauffman Foundation. Both authors ar...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 1 inPublished:September 25, 2012Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300146787

ISBN - 13:9780300146783

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From the Author

A conversation with Robert Litan and Carl SchrammQ: What's new about your book, given that you have already talked about the importance of entrepreneurship to growth in your prior book, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism?A: The financial crisis and the recession that followed underscored for us that a sustained recovery and higher long-run growth will require a heavier dose of entrepreneurship than we had previously recommended. This book lays out some concrete ways to do that.Q: When you say "entrepreneurship," do you mean any kind of new business?A: High-growth economies require high-growth firms, which we define as firms that quickly develop from a small size to earning revenues of $1 billion or more. If we want more growth, then we need more high-growth firms. So while sole proprietorships and small businesses are important for many people, especially those who want the freedom that comes from owning your own business, from a larger, economy-wide vantage point, the formation and growth of high-growth firms is paramount.Q: Given the political gridlock this country is experiencing, how much hope do you have that the ideas you discuss will be implemented?A: Yes, there is gridlock, but the window of opportunity for constructive change opened up by the financial crisis will not close for a while—at least until the economy nears full employment. This, unfortunately, may be a long time in coming. In the meantime, we, as researchers, can give policymakers a menu of options for boosting growth. We hope our readers will agree that our proposed options are reasonable. They also have the decided virtue of having little or no budgetary impact, which gives them at least a chance of getting a serious hearing by policymakers.

Editorial Reviews

“Enabling entrepreneurs to flourish can both grow the economy and make the world a better place. I hope Better Capitalism inspires a new generation to stretch the reach of market forces and create new businesses that drive economic growth while also helping solve the problems of the world’s poorest.”—Bill Gates