Hot Econ Title

9780691147727_f2647The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (Princeton University Press) is shaping up to be this year’s Capital in the 21st Century, anointed as such by both The New York Times Magazine and Fortune.

The book has become a prime topic of discussion among economists and business leaders. We reported earlier on Paul Krugman’s cover review for The New York Times Sunday Book Review, which helped push holds over orders in many libraries.

Krugman’s review came after several other notable attention. An earlier review in The Economist called the book “magnificent” and “brilliant.” The WSJ early review ended by proclaiming:

“Every presidential candidate should be asked what policies he or she would offer to increase the pace of U.S. productivity growth and to narrow the widening gap between winners and losers in the economy. Bob Gordon’s list is a good place to start.”

Several reviews, including the one in The Economist, also find fault with the book, not agreeing with Gordon’s asserting that IT revolution has played less of a role in re-shaping society than did indoor plumbing or the wide availability of cars.

More on this hot topic of a title can be found in Gordon’s 2013  TED Talk and a TED Talk debate, in which economists dug into Gordon’s arguments.

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