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Panel one - Richard Freeman

Richard Freeman, Harvard University

Presentation summary

  • Distorted economic growth – high income earners (especially 0.1%) accumulating large share of US pre-tax income – Top 0.1% have 12 percent of pre-tax income, double what they had in 1980. If growth in top 0.1% income had gone to rest of working population, everyone would have seen 10% rise in income
  • What will be the US public’s reaction to another financial crisis?
  • Inequality and good vs. bad innovation
    • Not all innovation is good – type and locus of innovation matters for its impact
    • Relationship between innovation and inequality – innovation could increase inequality rather than reduce it
  •  Implications for policy:
    • Institutions matter. Example: unions, minimum wage, tax policy, form of compensation
    • International student and immigration policy are major part of innovation policy
    • Need to monitor overseas science and innovation – help small and medium firms keep abreast of new developments
    • Cutbacks in science R&D can endanger innovation
    • Need to develop a new metric of innovation aside from looking at patent and R&D data