"Restoring American Economic Dynamism: New Solutions for America's Productivity Slowdown"

Full-Day Conference Presented in Partnership with the CFA Institute Research Foundation and S&P Global


Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

US productivity growth is at historic lows by most measures. The number of new US companies opening barely outpaces the number of companies closing. Inequality is increasing, as is the mortality of those with only a high school education. The United States risks becoming the new “sick man” of the world, analogous to the rotating position of the Ottoman Empire, Britain, France, Germany and Italy as the sick man of Europe.

“Restoring American Economic Dynamism: New Solutions for America’s Productivity Slowdown” will be a day-long conference offering fresh ideas of how to bring back American prosperity and growth. The conference will address the true economic challenges facing America: Is it a measurement problem, with statistics failing to capture improvement in living standards? Or is it an inequality problem, where the United States actually has two economies, one providing high-wage jobs in information technology and finance, and the other centered on low wage service jobs and dying old industries where most of the supply chain has fled to other countries?

Most analyses of US economic decline are either fatalistic, or wholly lacking in solutions other than generic ones such as “infrastructure” and “education.” In contrast, this conference will expand the policy choice set to include new ideas about how to restore American economic vitality. These include the possibility of new labor market institutions, such as apprenticeship programs or ways of sharing applied research and technology. Ultimately, the US needs an expanded innovation system focused on production. Such novel ideas could result in US workers and firms better participating in manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, leading to more dynamic and inclusive growth.

Download a PDF of the conference agenda here.


9:00: Doors open; continental breakfast served

9:30: Welcome and Opening Remarks
David Cowen, MoAF President
David Adler, Conference Organizer
Laurence Siegel, Conference Co-Organizer
Richard Sylla, MoAF Chairman

9:45: Opening Keynote: “The Audacity of Pessimism: Challenges for the World Economy"
Lord Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (2003-2013)

10:30: Break

10:40: Panel: Does the US have a Productivity Problem or a Productivity Measurement Problem?
Productivity Was Already Slowing Before the Financial Crisis
Chad Syverson, J. Baum Harris Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago

Is America Still a Sartup Nation?
Dane Stangler, Director of Policy Innovation, The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI)

Two Economies: the Decline of the American Worker and the Rise of Superstars
Anton Korinek, Johns Hopkins University; former visiting scholar, the World Bank, the IMF and the BIS

Chair: Laurence Siegel (conference co-organizer), Director of Research, CFA Institute Research Foundation

11:45: Break

11:55: Mid-morning Keynote: “Productivity and Growth in the Digital Age”
Jaana Remes, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute

12:30: Buffet lunch served

1:00: Lunchtime Keynote: "Finding Capital in the Stock Market"
David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee, S&P Dow Jones Indices

1:45: “Building a Robust Apprenticeship System in the United States”
Robert Lerman, Fellow, Urban Institute

2:15: Why is Business Investment So Low in the United States?
Thomas Philippon, New York University, winner of the 2013 Bernácer Prize for Best European Economist under 40

2:45: Break

3:00: Solutions Panel
Reversing the Decline in Manufacturing (and why automation isn’t the problem)
Susan Houseman, Vice President and Director of Research, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Building Innovative and Fair Supply Chains 
Susan Helper, Case Western, Former Chief Economist at the US Department of Commerce and a member of the White House Staff

Innovation: Strategies for Growth in the United States
Dan Breznitz, Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, University of Toronto; editor of “Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich?”

Chair: David Adler (conference organizer), Author of The New Economics of Liquidity and Financial Frictions (CFA Institute Research Foundation); Senior Advisor, XA Investments

4:15: Group Panel: Now What?

4:45: Closing Keynote
Edmund Phelps, Nobel Laureate, Economics; Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University

5:05: Cocktail reception

6:00: Event ends

Tickets: $100 general admission; $40 Museum and CFA Institute members; $25 students with ID. Working members of the press will be admitted free of charge and should RSVP to Kristin Aguilera at kaguilera@moaf.org.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.



RAED Conference Agenda (PDF, 158.15 KB)

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