Damaging myths persist about the impact of U.S. government spending on economic growth.  The conventional wisdom is that government spending and taxes hurt economic growth, but this point of view—which has adversely influenced the nation’s social spending and public investment—is not supported by the evidence.

In How Big Should our Government Be?, Jon Bakija, Lane Kenworthy, Peter Lindert, and Jeff Madrick present evidence about the effects of government spending on economic growth. They argue the United States can afford and would benefit from a significantly larger government presence to make the needed public investment to improve our economic future.

The authors will present their findings at the Economic Policy Institute on September 23 at 10 a.m. ET. This event is co-sponsored by the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative at the Century Foundation. The authors will be joined by John Halpin of the Center for American Progress to discuss whether the American electorate would favor the expansion of government.



Speakers will include:


  • Jon Bakija, Professor of Economics and Chair of Political Economy Program, Williams College
  • Lane Kenworthy, Professor of Sociology and Yankelovich Chair in Social Thought, University of California, San Diego
  • Peter Lindert, Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of California, Davis
  • Jeff Madrick, Fellow and Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative at the Century Foundation
  • John Halpin, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

This event is sponsored by:

The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative is dedicated to inspiring discussion on how we can use government tools to address our nation’s most pressing problems. The program aims to reinvigorate conversation surrounding government, its positive potential, and what it can and should be doing for its citizens.

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.