©2019 by Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson

Praise for
Jump-Starting America 

“Something has gone profoundly wrong with the US economy over the last two decades. Economic growth has been disappointing, and the little of it we have witnessed has benefited the already rich and left everybody else behind. This wonderfully readable book by two leading scholars explains why and what to do about it. It is a powerful call for action for the government to get involved, encourage innovation in local clusters, and help the economy get back to creating good jobs for ordinary Americans. A must read.”

“In this meticulously researched, highly readable, and exquisitely timed book, Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson of MIT propose a new, national plan, rooted in expanded scientific research, for accelerating US growth, reducing inequality, and jump-starting regions of America which have been falling behind. And, they show the funding mechanisms, federal and local decision-making processes, and actual areas of new research which would undergird it. It is brilliant at historical, economic, and political levels.”

—Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail,
Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, MIT

—Roger Altman, former deputy secretary of the Treasury,
founder and senior chairman of Evercore

“This brilliant book brings together economic history, urban economics, and the design of incentives to build an ambitious proposal to jump-start growth across geographies and mitigate inequality.”

—Susan Athey, economics of technology professor and director, Initiative for Shared Prosperity and Innovation, Stanford University

“What has been missing from our ongoing debate about inequality and bringing the fruits of prosperity to a much wider segment of people is an approach to make it happen in a way that is familiar to American society, tradition, and historical political success. Jon Gruber and Simon Johnson provide that missing link by demonstrating how smart public investment in science will build the capabilities and infrastructure that is the sine qua non for the investment that will generate returns in the form of new products, services, and other benefits that employ millions and are widespread geographically.”

—Ellen Dulberger, member of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy,
the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

“This is the book America needs now. The blueprint for a dazzling future, filled with invention and growth, can be found in our recent past. Johnson and Gruber have resurrected the lost history of American science, and the era of big government that funded it. They have written a manifesto brimming with novel proscriptions that are themselves evidence that this country hasn’t lost its capacity to innovate.”

—Franklin Foer, author of World Without Mind

“In Jump-Starting America, Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson present an innovative and compelling case to invest more in innovation, and they propose a bold plan to ensure that the benefits are shared throughout the US and the money is spent wisely. Nothing less than the preeminence of the US economy hangs in the balance.”

—Alan B. Krueger, former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Jump-Starting America is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and important book. It makes a compelling case that thoughtful government investment in science is the key to achieving a second golden age for the American economy. A joy to read."

—Steve Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics

“America’s future prosperity depends on investing in our entire country, most especially those areas ‘left behind.’ Gruber and Johnson show us the way through ingenious ideas based on how it was done in the past and that cut through today’s political gridlock, providing the inspiration and optimism we need for enabling many more Americans to secure an economically bright future.”

—Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Google

“Long derided, at best for the hubris of officials trying vainly to do science and pick winners and at worst for its cronyism, industrial policy is making a comeback in many countries. Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson show how the government can promote innovation while avoiding the classic pitfalls of such policies. The United States of DARPA, NASA, the NIH or the NSF offer a perhaps-unexpected role model. This very important book by two world leading academics is a must-read not only for scholars, but also for all policymakers, from those who still doubt the power of industrial policy to those who might be tempted to apply it carelessly.”

—Jean Tirole, Toulouse School of Economics, 2014 Nobel laureate in economics