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Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator

by Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh The MIT Press
Pub Date:
09/2019
ISBN:
9780262043229
Format:
Hbk 192 pages
Price:
AU$39.99 NZ$45.21
Product Status: In Stock Now
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How to get more innovation and more equality.


 


Is economic inequality the price we pay for innovation? The amazing technological advances of the last two decades—in such areas as artificial intelligence, genetics, and materials—have benefited society collectively and rewarded innovators handsomely: we get cool smartphones and technology moguls become billionaires. This contributes to a growing wealth gap; in the United States; the wealth controlled by the top.01 percent of households equals that of the bottom ninety percent. Is this the inevitable cost of an innovation-driven economy? Economist Joshua Gans and policy maker Andrew Leigh make the case that pursuing innovation does not mean giving up on equality—precisely the opposite. In this book, they outline ways that society can become both more entrepreneurial and more egalitarian.


 


All innovation entails uncertainty; there's no way to predict which new technologies will catch on. Therefore, Gans and Leigh argue, rather than betting on the future of particular professions, we should consider policies that embrace uncertainty and protect people from unfavorable outcomes. To this end, they suggest policies that promote both innovation and equality. If we encourage innovation in the right way, our future can look more like the cheerful techno-utopia of Star Trek than the dark techno-dystopia of The Terminator.
Joshua Gans is Professor of Strategic Management and holds the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He is the author of The Disruption Dilemma (MIT Press), Prediction Machines, and other books.


 


Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40.


 


His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), The Luck of Politics (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia (2017) and Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World (2018). Andrew is a keen marathon runner, and hosts a podcast titled "The Good Life: Andrew Leigh in Conversation"


Lawrence H. Summers is Charles W. Eliot Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration and as Director of the National Economic Council in the Obama administration.