The essays contained in this volume seek to clarify the lines of debate on some of the greatest economic policy challenges of our time and present evidence- based analysis on how to address them. It examines the hypothesis that growing market concentration is inhibiting a dynamic and competitive economy.
Philippon asserts that growth in aggregate measures of market concentration since the early 2000s is largely attributable to the weakening of competition. Lower levels of competition, Philippon argues, are directly due to lax antitrust enforcement and barriers to market entry.
Rose argues that highly aggregated measures of concentration across industries, which are used in many of the most provocative studies, cannot be used to draw conclusions about concentration dynamics due to a host of methodological challenges. Instead, industry-level studies are necessary to accurately assess causal relationships.
Gale argues that although historically low interest rates reduce the cost of government borrowing, they are not a "get out of jail free card." Rising debt will slowly but surely make it harder to grow the economy, boost living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain the nation’s role as a global leader.
Van Reenen argues the U.S. should pursue a robust innovation policy composed of tax credits, direct subsidies, and human capital investments, which have been shown to spur innovation and wage growth. He proposes combining these approaches into a 10-year $1 trillion Grand Innovation Challenge, which would reinvigorate R&D investment, promote American technological leadership, and advance policy goals of inclusive growth.
Garthwaite argues that the current public debate about Medicare For All fails to take into account the likely consequences that such a large change to the health-care system would bring about. For example, if such a system adopted the existing Medicare price schedule, the average quality of health services would likely decline.
Kearney and Mogstad argue that, in practice, a UBI would be an extremely expensive, inefficiently targeted, and potentially harmful policy that would solve none of the economic challenges it purports to address.
Viard argues that a wealth tax in the U.S. would pose administrative and constitutional challenges. As an economic matter, such a tax would decrease savings and investment, thereby lowering the capital stock, making workers less productive, and slowing wage growth. The potential revenue that would be gained is unclear.
Batchelder and Kamin argue the United States must raise new revenue in order to reduce high levels of economic disparity, finance much-needed new services and investments, and address the nation's long-term fiscal needs. They present a range of options that would raise tax revenue and increase the progressivity of the federal tax system. Policymakers can pursue a combination of incremental changes to increase revenues through the current tax system along with new tax structures to generate new revenue.