New growth theory argues that, in advanced economies, economic growth stems less from the acquisition of additional capital and more from innovation and new ideas. On May 10, the Brookings Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosted a symposium examining new growth theory as a tool for assessing the impact of art and culture on the U.S. economy, including the theory that cities play a major role in facilitating economic growth. The symposium featured papers jointly commissioned by the NEA Office of Research and Analysis and Michael Rushton, the co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics. The presentations were moderated by experts from Brookings, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Commerce.
Ed Glaeser, Harvard economist and author of Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011), gave keynote remarks; along with a some of the nation’s leading cultural economists, other speakers included Bruce Katz, vice president and co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and Carol Graham, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development Programs at Brookings and author of Happiness Around the World (Oxford University Press, 2010).
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