Jump-Starting America

How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream


April 29, 2019, 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

Jonathan Gruber (MIT) and Simon Johnson (MIT and PIIE)

Event Summary

Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson will presented the findings of their new book, Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream, at the Washington launch event at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) on April 29, 2019.

Gruber, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Johnson, with MIT and PIIE, argue that the United States can grow faster, create more good jobs, and genuinely spread opportunity than it has in recent years, if the nation changes how and how much it invests. The authors propose a new approach to public investment by investing more in science and technology, placing those investments strategically around the country, and creating an innovation dividend—paying cash to all Americans every year, based on the success of public investments in the tech sector. Gruber and Johnson analyze specific recommendations for which technologies should receive public support, and which cities have the potential to become the next generation tech hubs. They wish to ensure that benefits from the next tech boom are shared more broadly, and that such a tech boom is brought forward.

Jonathan Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and president of the American Society of Health Economists. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Econometric Society. During the 1997–98 academic year, he was on leave as deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department.

Simon Johnson has been senior fellow at PIIE since 2008. He is also the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he is head of the Global Economics and Management group, a member of the Executive Personnel Committee, and chair of the Sloan Fellows MBA Program Committee. He cofounded and currently leads the popular Global Entrepreneurship Lab (GLAB) course, working with start-up companies around the world.