It’s an assumption accepted almost universally in public discourse: Small businesses are the drivers of economic growth and job creation. But as Robert D. Atkinson and Michael Lind argue in their provocative new book Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business (The MIT Press, April 2018) the received wisdom is a myth that governments go out of their way to promote based on a confused mix of populist and free market ideology.
Atkinson and Lind examine the evidence, and in a rebuke to today’s growing anti-monopolist fervor they conclude that, on average, large firms have superior track records on job creation, productivity, innovation, and virtually all other economic benefits—including such progressive priorities as diversity, wages, and environmental protection. The authors argue for shifting to a “size neutral” approach to economic development policy that encourages all companies to grow rather than enshrining the Jeffersonian anachronism that small businesses should operate in the heroic mold of yeoman farmers.
Please join the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation for a moderated discussion marking the release of Big Is Beautiful. The authors will address the role and impact of large firms on the U.S. economy and society, and delve into the implications for policymakers.