[Review of the book 'Growth With Equity']
Fields, Gary S.
[Excerpt] This book, by three nationally respected researchers in the Brookings Institution's Center on Economic Progress and Employment, addresses two problems facing the American economy: anemic productivity improvement and consequent slow economic growth, and growing income inequality. Contrary to their distinguished predecessor at Brookings, the late Arthur Okun, who maintained in a widely cited 1975 book that the twin goals of growth and more equal distribution of income conflict with each other (Arthur M. Okun, Equality and Efficiency: the Big Tradeoff [Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1975]), Baily, Burtless, and Litan argue—correctly, I believe—that growth and equality are compatible goals. "Unless the nation finds better ways to ease the disruptions caused by economic change," they write, "those most at risk from change will seek to block it. The policies that offer the best opportunity to improve the nation's long-term economic performance may never be adopted" (p. 6). However, the right policy package, detailed in the rest of the book, could help the nation achieve both growth and equity objectives.
economic growth; development; employment; income
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