Crisis seems to follow crisis. Inequality is rising, growth is stagnant, the environment is suffering, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed every crack in the system. We hear more and more calls for radical change, even the overthrow of capitalism.
But the answer to our problems is not revolution. The answer, argues Harvard’s Philippe Aghion, is to create a better capitalism by understanding and harnessing the power of creative destruction–innovation that disrupts, but that over the past two hundred years has also lifted societies to previously unimagined prosperity.
On May 12, 2021, Aghion joined Erik Brynjolfsson, Chad Jones (Stanford University), Huiyu Li (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), and Ufuk Akcigit (University of Chicago) to discuss his new book, The Power of Creative Destruction: Economic Upheaval and the Wealth of Nations. (Aghion is co-author with Celine Antonin and Simon Bunel.)
The panel discussed some of today’s most pressing economic questions, including the roots of growth and inequality, competition and globalization, the determinants of health and happiness, technological revolutions, secular stagnation, middle-income traps, climate change, and how to recover from economic shocks.