This month’s MIT SMR Strategy Forum poll looks at the space economy, which some estimate could reach $1 trillion in 20 years. We asked our panel of strategy experts to evaluate whether commercial activity in space will see a boon in the next decade, or if this bet on the final frontier is off the mark.
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This month’s MIT SMR Strategy Forum poll looks at whether a hard Brexit will be felt for businesses outside of the U.K. and Europe. Our panel of strategy experts weigh in on possible impacts, from supply chain disruption to disrupted labor supplies and worldwide recession.
- Read Time: 4 min
A wide range of evidence shows that U.S. research efforts are rising substantially, but at the same time, research productivity is sharply declining. Optimists hope for a fourth industrial revolution that will raise the bar again, while pessimists lament that most potential productivity growth has already occurred.
- Read Time: 3 min
Many countries experiencing fast growth in the aging of their populations, including Germany, Japan, and South Korea, are also experiencing growth in their gross domestic product. The most plausible explanation for this counterintuitive finding is that there has been a rapid adoption of automation technologies in countries with more pronounced demographic changes. In other words, technology isn’t just capable of offsetting potential negative effects of aging populations — it’s already doing so.
- Read Time: 13 min
There is an unprecedented explosion of innovation going on all around us. And yet, as Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel point out in their new book, The Innovation Illusion, GDP growth, productivity, and corporate investment in the capitalist economies of the West are all on the decline. The authors peg this counterintuitive reality to “gray capitalism, excessive corporate managerialism, second-generation globalization, and complex regulations.”
- Read Time: 5 min
The Information Age has revolutionized how we shop, travel and entertain ourselves—and yet we know little about how digitization has impacted the economy. That’s because the main gauge of economic growth, Gross Domestic Product, doesn’t capture much of the value created by “information goods.”
- Read Time: 6 min
The “new attitude” in China toward sustainable economic growth depends upon thoughtful management of six types of capital: natural resources, human resources, financial capital, manufacturing infrastructure, intellectual capital, and social relationships. Integrated reporting looks at the performance of all six types of capital and how the performance of each element is related to one another. The challenge for China: developing partnerships with business to make it work.
- Research Feature
- Read Time: 15 min
After a period of remarkable growth, China faces substantial challenges. There is evidence that China is hitting the wall of diminishing returns with a growth model that relies heavily on exports and investments in fixed assets and infrastructure. It is harder to grow a country’s economy after the country has attained “middle-income status,” and the author argues that China needs both political and economic reforms to move to the next stages of its development.
- Read Time: 3 min
The Internet Revolution has so far not produced the kind of long-term productivity growth seen during the Industrial Revolution. Digital technology drove U.S. productivity growth above 3% annually only between 1996 and 2004. Since then, productivity has fallen to about 1.6% a year. General Electric argues that productivity growth will jump again as the industrial Internet emerges, connecting machines like turbines and jet engines to factories, and using analytics to make better decisions about maintenance and production.
- Opinion & Analysis
- Read Time: 10 min
Logistics clusters are local networks of businesses that provide a wide array of services, including transportation carriers, warehousing companies, and freight forwarders. Logistics clusters address several challenges that economies face, including the need for good jobs. In addition to helping companies navigate global supply networks, logistics clusters are contributing to the efficiency of global supply chains and, in the process, increasing international trade and global trade flows.
- Read Time: 1 min
It seems pretty obvious that droughts and hot weather hurt agricultural output and growth, but MIT professor of economics Benjamin Olken asserts that even localized hot spells can significantly damage long-term economic growth in developing countries. In a recent paper published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Olken and his colleagues found that every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature in a poor country reduces economic growth by around 1.3 percentage points, and that higher temperatures also may reduce the rate of growth.
- Read Time: 2 min
If political and ideological boundaries really are “invisible fences in the mind,” as MIT Sloan professor John Sterman puts it, then what kind of image of how the world works will best serve us as we think about issues of economic growth? These are some of the questions that MIT Sloan’s Jason Jay raised in a thought-provoking presentation at the Dynamics of Globalization Executive Education program held at MIT on June 13-14.
- Read Time: 2 min
The planet’s focus today should be on resiliency rather than on sustainability, says Dennis Meadows, one of the original authors of the 1972 book Limits to Growth. That book was one of the first scholarly works to recognize that the world was approaching its sustainable limits.
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