Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity

Imagine this: a mere century ago, the purchasing power of an average American was one-tenth of what it is today. But what will it take to sustain that growth through the next century? And what can be said about economic growth to aspiring nations seeking higher standards of living for their citizens?

In this important book, William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan, and Carl J. Schramm contend that the answers to these questions lie within capitalist economies, though many observers make the mistake of believing that "capitalism" is of a single kind. Writing in an accessible style, the authors dispel that myth, documenting four different varieties of capitalism, some "Good" and some "Bad" for growth. The authors identify the conditions that characterize Good Capitalism—the right blend of entrepreneurial and established firms, which can vary among countries—as well as the features of Bad Capitalism. They examine how countries catching up to the United States can move faster toward the economic frontier, while laying out the need for the United States itself to stick to and reinforce the recipe for growth that has enabled it to be the leading economic force in the world. This pathbreaking book is a must read for anyone who cares about global growth and how to ensure America's economic future.

William J. Baumol is Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship and academic director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stern School of Business, New York University, and senior economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University. Robert E. Litan is vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Carl J. Schramm is president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Foundation and a Batten Fellow at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.