Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress

Hardcover | June 24, 2014

byJoseph E. Stiglitz, Bruce C. GreenwaldAs told byPhilippe Aghion

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It has long been recognized that an improved standard of living results from advances in technology, not from the accumulation of capital. It has also become clear that what truly separates developed from less-developed countries is not just a gap in resources or output but a gap in knowledge. In fact, the pace at which developing countries grow is largely a function of the pace at which they close that gap.

Thus, to understand how countries grow and develop, it is essential to know how they learn and become more productive and what government can do to promote learning. In Creating a Learning Society, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Bruce C. Greenwald cast light on the significance of this insight for economic theory and policy. Taking as a starting point Kenneth J. Arrow's 1962 paper "Learning by Doing," they explain why the production of knowledge differs from that of other goods and why market economies alone typically do not produce and transmit knowledge efficiently. Closing knowledge gaps and helping laggards learn are central to growth and development. But creating a learning society is equally crucial if we are to sustain improved living standards in advanced countries.

Combining accessible prose with technical economic analysis, Stiglitz and Greenwald provide new models of "endogenous growth," up-ending thowhe thinking about both domestic and global policy and trade regimes. They show well-designed government trade and industrial policies can help create a learning society, and how poorly designed intellectual property regimes can retard learning. They also explain how virtually every government policy has effects, both positive and negative, on learning, a fact that policymakers must recognize. They demonstrate why many standard policy prescriptions, especially those associated with "neoliberal" doctrines focusing on static resource allocations, have impeded learning. Among the provocative implications are that free trade may lead to stagnation whereas broad-based industrial protection and exchange rate interventions may bring benefits-not just to the industrial sector, but to the entire economy.

The volume concludes with brief commentaries from Philippe Aghion and Michael Woodford, as well as from Nobel Laureates Kenneth J. Arrow and Robert M. Solow.

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From the Publisher

It has long been recognized that an improved standard of living results from advances in technology, not from the accumulation of capital. It has also become clear that what truly separates developed from less-developed countries is not just a gap in resources or output but a gap in knowledge. In fact, the pace at which developing cou...

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University and a member and former chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He was the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics. He served on President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, and then joined the World Bank as chief economist and senior vice ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:680 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:June 24, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231152140

ISBN - 13:9780231152143

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments for the SeriesAcknowledgments for the First Arrow LectureIntroduction, by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Bruce C. GreenwaldPart 1: Creating a Learning Society: A New Paradigm for Development and Social Progress: : Basic Concepts1. The Learning Revolution2. On the Importance of Learning3. A Learning Economy4. Creating a Learning Firm and a Learning Environment5. Market Structure, Welfare, and Learning6. The Welfare Economics of Schumpeterian CompetitionPart 2: Analytics7. Learning in a Closed Economy-the Basic Model8. A Two-Period, N-Good Model with Endogenous Labor Supply9. Learning with Monopolistic Competition10. Long-Term Growth and Innovation11. The Infant-Economy Argument for Protection: Trade Policy in a Learning EnvironmentPart 3: Policies for a Learning Society12. The Role of Industrial and Trade Policy in Creating a Learning Society13. Financial Policy and Creating a Learning Society14. Macroeconomic and Investment Policies for a Learning Society15. Intellectual Property16. Social Transformation and the Creation of a Learning Society17. Concluding RemarksPart 4: Commentary and Afterword18. Introductory Remarks for the First Annual Arrow Lecture, by Michael Woodford19. Further Considerations, by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Bruce C. Greenwald20. Commentary: The Case for Industrial Policy, by Philippe Aghion21. Commentary, by Robert Solow22. Commentary, by Kenneth ArrowAfterword: Rethinking Industrial Policy, by Philippe AghionNotesReferencesNotes on ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

[A] sweeping work of macroeconomic theory.