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Boom vs. Doom: Debate on future of the economy

Economists Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr offer opposing views on America’s future

Northwestern economists Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr
Northwestern economists Robert Gordon (left) and Joel Mokyr. Photo by Rob Hart.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University economists Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr will share their opposing views on America’s future at “Boom vs. Doom: A Debate on the Future of the Economy” next week.

The event is hosted by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management’s Kellogg Public-Private Interface.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Conference Center, 130 E. Randolph St., in downtown Chicago. Visit the council’s website for registration details. The debate also can be viewed live on the event website.

What is the future of the economy? As the presidential election looms, this question continues to play a critical role in the discourse. According to the 2016 Chicago Council Survey, 57 percent of Americans believe the next generation will be worse off economically than today’s workers. Is the best yet to come, or are the heydays of economic growth over? What should the next president do to foster growth?

Gordon, the Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, contends that economic progress will be slow -- due to slower innovation, plateauing education, an aging population and rising inequality and debt. 

On the other hand, Mokyr, the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history in Weinberg, argues that the future looks bright -- driven by a new age of invention, especially in areas such as computing, robotics, materials and bioengineering.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues.

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