Productivity And American Leadership: The Long View

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Productivity And American Leadership: The Long View

By William J. Baumol, Sue Anne Batey Blackman and Edward Wolff
MIT Press, 1989
395 pp. $29.95
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Don't panic but keep worrying is the admonition one might draw from this book. There is no conclusive evidence, the authors say, that American productivity will fall below its historical trend or that other countries will surge ahead once they have caught up. But since one cannot be sure that these things will not happen, we are given sound prescriptions for long-run policy and a more dubious proposal for tax rebates geared to gains in productivity. The great strength of the book is a series of important analyses that show why many common generalizations about productivity, manufacturing, services and information are seriously oversimplified and often misleading.

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