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The Political Economy of Technology

The economic outcomes we experience have never been wholly the consequence of markets efficiently allocating resources to their optimal uses. On the contrary, how the costs and benefits of technological progress are distributed is a matter of social choice – even if it does not always seem so.

CAMBRIDGE – Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson’s new book, Power and Progress, joins a number of other grand narratives that address a key question for the world economy today: How did the United States – and, somewhat in parallel, the United Kingdom – get into their current mess? Other worthwhile contributions include Jonathan Ira Levy’s Ages of American Capitalism, J. Bradford DeLong’s Slouching Towards Utopia, Gary Gerstle’s The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order, Helen Thompson’s Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century, and Martin Wolf’s The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.