The Great Debate: Can Technology Transform the Economy Again?

Two prominent economists make opposing cases for the future of U.S. productivity Is the U.S. economy stuck in secular stagnation? Or is it on the cusp of another golden era of growth and productivity gains? It depends on whom you ask. The Bloomberg Benchmark podcast spoke in recent weeks with two of the most prominent professors on opposite sides of the debate: The pessimist, Northwestern University’s Robert Gordon, the author of this year’s book, “The Rise and Fall of American Growth,” and the optimist, Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the co-author (with Andrew McAfee) of “The Second Machine Age” (2014). Each dutifully made his case. Yet some of their views might surprise you: Gordon is actually optimistic about the next few years of growth in the U.S. economy, while…

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