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


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William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan, and Carl J. Schramm

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Three prominent economists focus new attention on the essential role of entrepreneurship in capitalism

In this important book, three prominent economists propose that there are different varieties of capitalism in the world today--some good for economic growth, others decidedly bad. Writing in an accessible style, William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan, and Carl J. Schramm documentfour different varieties of capitalism and 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.

Listen to the authors' interview with Tom Ashbrook on National Public Radio's On Point or download directly with Windows Media Player or Real Player.

"In our lifetimes, humans passed a remarkable milestone. Most people now live in a capitalist economy. This is not, however, the end of history. As the authors of this path breaking book show, there are several distinctly different types of capitalism and it takes a mixture of two of these types to get all the economic, social, and political benefits that capitalism affords."—Paul M. Romer, STANCO 25 Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University




Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism tells us that capitalism comes in different flavors, and some of those flavors taste very much better than others. One of these forms of capitalism, entrepreneurial capitalism, is a special treat. It leads to growth and prosperity. The other forms are to be avoided; they lead to stagnation. This new view of the wealth of nations offers a guide to economic policy in all countries, from richest to poorest. This is a daring book with big, bold, important ideas.”—George Akerlof, University of California, Berkeley, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 



"An important new book. . . . Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism presents a smart and accessible overview of the relevant academic literature on growth and innovation. And the authors build a helpful conceptual framework for how to think about 'capitalism.' . . . As a guidebook for economic reform, the book helps policymakers understand how to characterize their economies and thus what their relative strengths and weaknesses are. And it helps them begin mapping realistic incremental reforms that might move undeveloped or stagnant economies in the right direction. . . . An invaluable guide."—Nick Schulz,

"[A] trailblazing book. . . . Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism offers invaluable insights for anyone interested in global economic growth and in America's economic future."—eclipse developer's journal

"Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism helpfully moves the debate on from competing national models to the underlying structures that shape the relative effectiveness of different sorts of capitalism."—The Economist

"Well worth a read by both academics and policy-makers. It is an interesting and promising departure from the standard debates."—Mark Zachary Taylor, Review of Policy Research

“…this is a book well worth reading because it provides insights into capitalist systems which exist now and gives cogent arguments for choosing the good from the bad.” - R. John Sandeman, The International Journal of Environmental Studies

"The issues here are complex, and the book is chock-full of wise suggestions on how to reform the patent system, bankruptcy laws, and antitrust policies to protect 'good capitalism.'" —Joel Mokyr, Technology and Culture

Received Honorable Mention for the 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Business and Economics category.
ISBN: 9780300158328
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
336 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
7 b/w illus.

Sales Restrictions: World excluding India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar
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