Keynote Address

A Brighter Future
Improving the Standard of Living Now and for the Next Generation

Robert Frank
Professor of Economics at Cornell University's Graduate School of Management

Professor Frank's books include:

  • The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good
  • The Winner-Take-All Society (with Philip Cook)
  • The Economic Naturalist
  • Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke)
  • Falling Behind: How Inequality Hurts the Middle Class

About the Conference

As the United States slowly climbs out of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the Great Recession that followed, it is important to focus on new directions to improve the standard of living -- now and for the next generation of Americans. The standard of living, as we define it, also includes widespread access to high-quality public goods (roads, schools, clean air, parks, and museums), many non-market "quality of life" factors such as health, neighborliness, community and safety, and broadly based opportunities to improve education, health and income. Popular thinking, based in part on neoclassical economics, has traditionally equated economic growth with improvements in quality of life and assumed that a "rising tide lifts all boats." The premise of this conference is that even a renewal of economic growth will not solve many quality of life, sustainability or equity issues that have been on the increase in recent decades. We are fortunate to have brought together experts from across the country to address various aspects of the standard of living in the United States and how to improve it.

~ Daphne T. Greenwood, Professor of Economics and Director, Colorado Center for Policy Studies