Can economic growth be simultaneously ‘smart’ and ‘inclusive’? Why is it that recent periods of innovation-led growth resulted in rising socio-economic inequality? Innovation and inequality often go hand in hand. Some have tried to explain this due to labor displacement effects from ‘skill-biased technical change’. Yet skills in this theoretical approach are exogenous—rather an endogenous function of the investment process. Do short-termism and ‘financialization’ lead to a lower level of business investment in long-run areas like R&D and human capital formation—hence future job opportunities?
A big challenge for innovation economists is to develop a theory that endogenously explains the relationship between innovation, skill/job formation, and inequality. And if the risks of innovation are ‘socialized’ (as I argue in The Entrepreneurial State), shouldn’t the rewards also be socialized?
In recent years I have written academic papers, news articles, and policy briefs on these subjects, and promoted initiatives and events that focused on issues of growth, innovation and inequality.