Episode 305: The U.S. Manufacturing Sector’s Global Competitiveness

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US Manufacturing

In This Episode

In this episode Rob Atkinson is questioned on a range of issues related to the global competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector. While asserting that there isn’t a comprehensive measure of competitiveness, Dr. Atkinson notes that trade imbalances are troubling. Microeconomic issues support such macroeconomic concerns. Rob points to data, for example, which shows that U.S. manufacturing is lagging in the implementation of increasingly important disruptive process technologies. He also overviews his thinking on human capital inadequacies in U.S. manufacturing in a global competitive context and discusses policy implications.

Today's Guest

Robert D. Atkinson
Guest Robert Atkinson

Today’s guest is an internationally recognized scholar and a widely published author whom The New Republic has named him one of the “three most important thinkers about innovation.” Washingtonian Magazine has called him a “tech titan.” Government Technology Magazine has judged him to be one of the 25 top “doers, dreamers and drivers of information technology,” and the Wharton Business School has awarded him the “Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award.”

A sought-after speaker and valued adviser to policymakers around the world, Atkinson’s books include Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Mythology of Small Business (MIT Press, 2018); Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012), and The Past And Future Of America’s Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005).  He also has conducted groundbreaking research projects and authored hundreds of articles and reports on technology and innovation-related topics ranging from tax policy to advanced manufacturing, productivity, and global competitiveness. He has testified before the United States Congress more than 30 times.

Our Host

Cliff Waldman
Host Cliff Waldman

Cliff Waldman is the CEO of New World Economics, a research and consulting firm in Arlington, VA, that specializes in contract research in the areas of manufacturing, small business, and frontier markets.  Prior to founding New World Economics, Cliff was Chief Economist at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), a trade and research firm for U.S. manufacturers.  While at MAPI, he won three national research awards for his published work on manufacturing productivity, innovation, and demographics. Cliff’s career has also included work for a state government economic research and forecasting unit, and for a small business research team in Washington, D.C. He received his M.A. in economics from Rutgers University.

Cliff is an active leader in the economics community, currently serving as President of the National Economists Club for calendar year 2019.