The Role of Innovation and the Digital Economy: New Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese, US and European Economic Policy

Phelps, Edmund S.

What is the “role”of innovation? America’s great era of innovation – from the 1820s to the 1960s – was pervasive, extending to virtually all industries and enlisting ordinary people from the grassroots on up. Abraham Lincoln exclaimed in 1858 that “young America has a great passion – a perfect rage – for the new.” As argued in my book Mass Flourishing, this innovating was an engaging and sometimes exhilarating experience. People were involved in their work and had a sense of taking action and of achieving things. Now, statistical analyses show that a low rate of innovation in a country is a reliable
predictor of low life satisfaction.

From this perspective, let us examine the significant shifts over the past year or two in the economic organization and political landscape of China, the U.S. and France.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Center on Capitalism and Society
Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University
Center on Capitalism and Society Working Papers, 108
Published Here
April 6, 2018