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Creating a Learning SocietyA New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress$
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Joseph Stiglitz and Bruce Greenwald

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152143

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152143.001.0001

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On the Importance of Learning

On the Importance of Learning

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter Two On the Importance of Learning
Source:
Creating a Learning Society
Author(s):

Joseph E. Stiglitz

Bruce C. Greenwald

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231152143.003.0002

This chapter examines macro- and micro-economic evidence that explicate the role of learning in improving standards of living. In particular, it stresses the pervasive gap between best practices and the productivity of most firms. It argues that this gap is far more important than the traditional allocative inefficiencies upon which most of economics has focused and is related to learning—or more accurately, the lack of learning. The final section provides a theoretical context within which to think about the sources of sustained increases in standards of living, employing the familiar distinction of movements of the production possibilities curve and movements toward the production possibilities curve. Using this framework, the chapter explains why it ascribes such importance to learning.

Keywords:   leaning, standard of living, best practices, productivity, economic, production possibilities curve

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