On Sept. 27, the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center hosted a panel discussion with scholars from the Toulouse Network of Information Technology (TNIT) in Washington, D.C. The @Microsoft Conversation focused on restoring U.S. competitiveness, specifically exploring how America can ensure job creation and economic growth after a significant recession and slower than anticipated recovery over the past few years.
Moderated by Greg Ip, U.S. Economics Editor for The Economist, the panel featured three TNIT scholars:
· Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
· Nick Bloom, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
· Josh Lerner, Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School
Acemoglu, citing his newly released book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, focused on what he calls the “perfect storm” for the United States – factors that contributed to America’s declining competitiveness. While he highlighted the challenges surrounding these issues, Acemoglu also noted that the U.S. can bounce back, just as the country has done throughout history.
Bloom discussed other major problems he sees facing America, including policy uncertainty, economic inequality and the need to further strengthen the education system.
Focusing on the micro aspect of innovation and its relationship to restoring competitiveness, Lerner explored the importance of R&D and venture capital. Expanding on aspects of his new book, The Architecture of Innovation, Lerner touched on the strengths and setbacks for each approach.